Koala 'endangered' listing is long overdue

11 February 2022

If the Morrison Government was serious about saving koalas in Port Stephens it would stump up the money needed for their conservation and stop land clearing.

I welcome the Federal Environment Minister’s decision to upgrade the status of koalas from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’, but it is disgraceful it has taken so long, and it is disgraceful that it was necessary at all. This is our national icon!

The Minister received advice to list the koala as ‘endangered’ from her Threatened Species Scientific Committee in October 2021. Why has it taken so long to act?

If the Minister was serious about preserving koala habitat, why in 2020 did she approve the Brandy Hill Quarry, which wiped out 52 hectares of koala habitat?

Habitat loss is the biggest risk to the koala, and yet this Government continues to allow thousands of hectares to be cleared for projects such as Brandy Hill Quarry.

Why, when the Minister patted koalas and posed for photos at Oakvale Wildlife Park this week, did she not commit funds to koala conservation in Port Stephens?

Why has she not replaced the Koala Conservation and Management Strategy that ended in 2014?

And where is the Threatened Species Recovery Plan for the koala that was due in 2015?

Minister Ley’s photo opportunity in Port Stephens this week was nothing but a shameful grab for votes.

She made no commitments.

It was an insult that she told our koala carers to take their luck in a grants’ lottery.

Not good enough, Minister!

As I said in Parliament this week, if the Morrison Government was serious about saving the koala, they would stump up the money and stop the land clearing.