You’d be forgiven for thinking that the very existence of national environmental laws creates an obligation on Environment Ministers to protect the environment. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Instead, their obligations are limited by the objects and duties that are specified in the law. And in the case of our...
A draft consultation document has been released today revealing that koala populations in Queensland, ACT and NSW have declined by 57% over the past 20 years, making them eligible for uplisting to Endangered under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Only listed as a Vulnerable species in 2012, this advice to uplist to Endangered less than a decade later paints a worrying picture for the future of koalas.
Draft Conservation Advice that supports an elevation of the koalas conservation status to Endangered has just been provided to Environment Minister Sussan Ley by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC). The findings confirm the highly concerning decline in koala populations proposed by Humane Society International (HSI), WWF and IFAW in a joint nomination made in early 2020.
“This is news that no Australian can be proud of but we still have time to take action,” said HSI’s Senior Campaign Manager Alexia Wellbelove. “It is clear that recent bushfires have escalated the decline of koala so we welcome these findings—swift implementation could be the last hope for these diminishing koala populations.”
A Draft National Recovery Plan for the Koala has been released alongside the TSSC’s findings, and is itself open for consultation until 24 September.
“This Recovery Plan is long overdue and we hope it signals a strong intention for all Governments to prioritise coordinated recovery actions to ensure the decline of koala populations can be turned around,” concluded Ms Wellbelove.
The Draft Conservation Advice on koalas is open for consultation until 31st July.