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...
Humane Society International today welcomed NSW Labor’s commitment to establish a Great Koala National Park. An increase in protected areas is an important step in our efforts to save the koala from extinction in NSW by 2050.
Humane Society International has been instrumental in ensuring that the plight of the koala is recognised under our threatened species laws, both in NSW and nationally. We are therefore pleased to see NSW Labor recognising the need to do more to save the koala.
The Great Koala National Park, as proposed by the National Parks Association of NSW, covers 315,000 ha of public land in the Coffs Harbour region. The area is a biodiversity hotspot, estimated to contain almost 20% of NSW’s remaining wild koalas.
Labor’s commitments to create the Great Koala National Park, to work cooperatively with landholders and other levels of government to increase protected areas and wildlife corridors in key koala habitats, and to ensure the statutory review of the Biodiversity Conservation Act strengthens environmental protections, stops run away land clearing, and fixes the biodiversity offset scheme are welcome.
The national koala recovery plan makes it clear that the key threat to the east coast koala population is land clearing. This means we need to urgently ensure our environment and planning laws prevent clearing of critical koala habitat across all land tenures, including stopping native forest logging, and consider the cumulative impacts of land clearing, climate change and other factors impacting on koalas.
Humane Society International is calling on all political parties to commit to the Great Koala National Park, supported by strong laws that will identify and protect critical koala habitat across the state, address climate change, and prevent koala populations from being lost from death by a thousand cuts.
Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns for Humane Society International, said, “We know that koalas are on track for extinction in NSW by 2050 if drastic action isn’t taken to increase protection.
“Koalas can’t afford to lose any more of their critical habitat to land clearing.
“Labor’s commitment to a Great Koala National Park recognises the important work that scientists and communities have done over many years to bring the plight of the koala to public attention.
“A Great Koala National Park would protect an estimated 20% of NSW’s remaining koalas and is an important part of the solution.
“We also need to see further action to end native forest logging and enhance private land conservation for koalas. “