The Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) is making a final appeal to voters to realize that their political leaders and a new government must support the Koala Protection Act, before it is too late, as the government’s recently released koala recovery plan doesn’t go far enough!
Conveniently, just 3 days before the election was called and the government moved into ‘interim’ mode, Environment Minister Sussan Ley released the koala recovery plan – just 10 years later than promised in 2012 and the shadow minister, Mrs. Teri Butler was equally cavalier about the fate of the Koala.
AKF President Deborah Tabart OAM said Koala’s recovery plan does not go far enough. It has no legislative powers and does not cover koalas in Victoria or South Australia; the Koala Protection Act would cover all koalas in all tenures.
“We’ve waited 10 years for this koala recovery plan, the exact time it took koalas to go from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’ and conveniently the Minister of the Environment released it. just 3 days before going into ‘guardian’ mode – No doubt a strategic ploy to shift responsibility to the new Minister of Environment, the 15th of my time at AKF, and even worse, to ensure that the Australians have little time to review and refute the plan,” Deborah said.
Stimulus package comes with no new funding, the $74m has already been strewn about in promises, photo ops and announcements by the government ahead of the election
The recovery plan calls for large-scale mapping of koala habitat, which the AKF has spent more than three decades engaging the best scientific minds to develop detailed habitat mapping, population data and carefully considered solutions to save the koala. Despite numerous attempts to collaborate with successive governments, the AKF only received a “standard response” letter.
The stimulus package does little to address climate change or explain how it will actually stop bulldozers from devastating Koala homes. Our forests are continually under attack and nothing except specific legislation will stop the clearing. The Australian government is not thinking big enough for this recovery, it continues to monitor sites that have koalas, rather than thinking 50 to 100 years ahead.
Of course, the plan comes with a big BUT, “Implementation of this recovery plan is subject to budgetary and other resource opportunities and constraints affecting partners” – we have it, the free get out of jail card and why nothing but the Koala Protection Act will truly save our beloved koalas and their trees.
The Koala Protection Act requires no funding, just strong legislation that works! The Koala Protection Act is a groundbreaking piece of legislation that will forever change environmental law by proactively protecting the habitat of koalas. The koala protection law is strong but fair and any industry that is afraid of its powers should not be in business.
Although the AKF acknowledges that the Greens have introduced a bill in the Senate to protect the Koala – it is still linked to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999 (EPBC ACT) and they also should consider supporting the Koala Protection Act. .
So, Mr Morrison and Mr Albanese, now is the time for you to show the Australian public what your respective future governments will do to save the Koala. The law on the protection of koalas is drafted and ready to be tabled in Parliament as soon as the new government is elected on May 21, will you support it?
About the Australian Koala Foundation:
• The Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) is the leading non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to the long-term conservation and effective management of wild koalas in Australia.
• Over 80% of the Koala’s natural habitat has been destroyed since the white colonization of Australia, and almost none of the remaining 20% is protected. The AKF’s proposed Koala Protection Act aims to change that.
• Since its founding in 1986, the AKF has grown from a small group of people interested in koala disease research to a well-known global organization with a strong track record in strategic koala research, conservation and conservation. community education.
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