The federal government needs to step up protection for vulnerable koalas along the NSW coastline and west of the Great Dividing Range to stem declining populations under threat from logging, mining and rampant urban development.
ABC’s 4 corners will tonight show that koala populations are in the serious trouble in NSW despite the federal government moving in April to list koalas as a vulnerable species, following a Greens-initiated Senate Inquiry.
“To save koala populations in NSW, the federal government must give teeth to its recent ‘vulnerable species’ listing by closing loopholes that ignore at-risk koalas in state forests and backing up the listing with proper monitoring and enforcement,” said Senator Rhiannon.
“Many koalas in NSW state forests continue to be at risk because the federal government’s listing has no effect in areas logged by Forests NSW under Regional Forestry Agreements (RFAs).
“This is like declaring protection for southern bluefin tuna, except for those tuna that go near the Margiris super trawler.
“In the last two months, Forest NSW has been under fire for risking koala habitat in Pine Creek State Forest on the NSW Mid-North Coast and Tanja State Forest in NSW South-East.
“The federal government need to step up and ensure there are processes in place to monitor habitat and population numbers.
“It should be an offence to harm or destroy koala habitat in areas where koalas have been listed as threatened.
“I will continue to work with my colleague Greens Senator Larissa Waters to ensure the threatened species listing is more than just words on paper,” said Senator Rhiannon.