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Stokes and Liberals cave to Nationals pressure on koalas

The deal struck between the Liberals and the Nationals to minimise koala protections in rural areas will push the species to the brink.

“Excising farming and forestry zones from the koala SEPP is a catastrophic setback for the species,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.

“These are where most of the koalas live and where most koala habitat destruction is happening right now.

“If you remove protections from these areas, you have basically given up on the species and signed its death warrant.”

Recent research shows that logging and land-clearing on forestry and agricultural land accounts for 90% of all koala habitat destruction. [1] 

The new deal between the Liberals and the Nationals puts rural and forestry lands out of reach of the koala SEPP.  

“Planning Minister Rob Stokes’ policy of appeasement has given Nationals Leader John Barilaro everything he wanted,” Mr Gambian said.

“Big agribusiness and property developers will be popping champagne corks tonight.

“This policy makes a mockery of the government's claim it plans to double koala numbers by 2050. This policy will only serve to speed up koala extinction. 

“This is a backroom deal, where once again koalas are the big losers. 

“But the people of NSW will not cop the loss of koalas and destruction of koala habitat. We will fight this measure all the way to polling day if need be.”

References

[1] Logging 62%, land clearing 28%, Development 10% - WWF. WWF-Australia (2020), Another 37 million Australian animals could be lost next decade if the government fails to properly enforce national environment laws.

 

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