Government sets Koalas up for extinction

Australian Greens

A new Koala SEPP just released by the Government is a win for the logging industry and a huge loss in the fight to save koalas from extinction in NSW, said Cate Faehrmann Greens MP and Spokesperson for the environment.

“The dummy spit by the National Party over the new Koala SEPP was never about farmers. It was always about appeasing the logging industry’s demands to be able to log koala habitat on private land,” said Cate Faehrmann

“The key threat facing koalas is the ongoing loss of their habitat, yet this new SEPP won’t stop this loss.

“The Government is making false promises to the public that it will double koala numbers by 2050, because there is no way it will do this if it doesn’t have the courage to stand up to the logging industry.

“Two-thirds of koalas live on private land, yet this Government has weakened land clearing laws so that almost none of it is protected.

“The Government is kidding itself when it states that this new SEPP is a big step forward for koalas. The forestry industry has won out in its quest to continue logging koala habitat on private land.

“Why has the Government only committed to approving Byron and Tweed draft Koala Plans of Management when the Department of Planning has had before it other draft KPoMs for some time – namely Clarence, Coffs Harbour, Greater Taree, Port Macquarie/Hastings and Cooma-Monaro.

“This is also a huge kick in the guts for local councils with a lot of their powers to protect koala habitat taken away from them.

“The public has lost all faith in the Government to do what is necessary to stop the clearing of koala habitat. Given their record to date, the Government cannot be trusted to strengthen the codes for land clearing and logging on private land in a way which genuinely protects koalas,” said Ms Faehrmann.

KPOMS:

• Byron Council – awaiting approval

• Tweed Shire Council – awaiting approval

• Clarence Valley Council – awaiting approval

• Coffs Harbour – awaiting approval of new plan

• Coom – Monaro – draft

• Greater Taree – draft

• Port Macquarie / Hastings – draft

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