New moves on Koala protection – but Berejiklian government must do more
The NSW government’s new koala policy released today very partially improves protection of this iconic species but must go further, environmentalists said today.
“Survival of Koalas is at emergency level with the decline of populations, loss of habitat and the bushfires. We urge the government to do more – and quickly,” said Jeff Angel, Director of Total Environment Centre.
“The new policy really only has teeth if a Council has completed a Koala Management Plan. But only a few have been approved and a few more are in draft form. The rest of the state which contains vitally important core habitat is left unprotected. Pro-development and tree clearing councils won’t act - so the government needs to set a mid-2020 deadline for their completion and provide funding. We estimate about $2mill to support the plans would finish the job.”
“With great anxiety in the community about the survival of koalas, surely the government can find the funds and the political gumption to really make a difference. The new policy leaves too many open doors for the bulldozers and chainsaws,” Mr Angel said.
The new policy – State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala habitat Protection) 2019 can be found here: https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/EPIs/2019-658.pdf