NSW State Election: Koalas’ future at stake
With a large majority of voters supporting protection of Koala habitat and removing development threats, multiple parties and independents have endorsed crucial policies to ensure our iconic species does not go extinct.
Action by the next Parliament to protect Koalas will also protect many other species of threatened plants and animals.
Essential new policies to protect Koalas in NSW include:
- New national parks and nature reserves
- Removing loopholes that allow urban development to escape environment protection requirements
- No offsets to allow clearing of endangered and critically endangered species habitats
- Urgent gazettal of Koala Management Plans which are lacking in many local government areas.
Serious Concern for Five Remaining Koala Colonies in Sydney Basin
Under current policies, there is a serious concern about the future of the remaining five Koala colonies in the Sydney Basin, where development is fragmenting habitat and car strikes are depleting the populations; as well as ongoing logging of native forests in NSW.
The following NSW results and rankings are drawn from the responses of the NSW Government, ALP and the Greens. In summary:
- X - The Government (NSW Liberal/National Coalition) relied on its current policies (NSW Koala Strategy; funding; land acquisitions; Georges River Koala Reserve) which exclude a Great Koala National Park and did not agree to remove development loopholes that are leading to habitat removal particularly in the Sydney Basin.
- ½ - The NSW ALP agreed to create a Great Koala National Park (after consultations); to protect wildlife corridors across all land tenures; faster gazettal of a Georges River Koala National Park; and to strengthen environmental protections, stop run away land clearing and fix the biodiversity offset scheme.
- √ - The Greens were most supportive promising a moratorium on the clearing of Koala habitat; introduction of a Koala Protection Bill with clear powers that prohibit the destruction of Koala habitat; and a $1bill land acquisition fund. You can read the Greens Full Koala Plan here.
There is a raft of key independents who, if elected will work for Koala protection:
- Victoria Davidson (Lane Cove)
- Helen Conway (North Shore)
- Larissa Penn (Willoughby)
- Karen Freyer (Vaucluse)
- Joeline Hackman (Manly)
- Jacqui Scruby (Pittwater)
- Judy Hannan (Wollondilly)
- Michael Regan (Wakehurst)
- Smaller parties like the Animal Justice Party, Sustainable Australia and Elizabeth Farrelly are also firm supporters. A broader set of responses from the independents for these seats can be found here.
Polling to learn how NSW voters think about koala protection (commissioned by Total Environment Centre, by Yougov) showed over 84% believe koala habitat should be more strongly protected from economic activities such as urban development, mining and logging. 89% of Labor and 78% of Coalition voters in NSW want Koala habitat in NSW protected.
You can donate now to support this crucial work. We have calculated that we need to raise $45,000 to campaign this issue effectively. We launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money. Now is the time to step up for Koalas, but we can only do this with your support! Join the cause today.
Detailed Position on Koala Protection for Each Major Party
If you want to learn more about the detailed position of each major party, you can read below's infographic. You can also download a printable copy here. We encourage you to share this amongst your community!