The future of Koalas is to be the focus of a parliamentary Upper House 'Inquiry into koala populations and habitat in New South Wales' and a demonstration in Ballina on Friday.
There will be a wake for Koalas staged outside the Ballina RSL from 8.30 am on Friday morning, 18 October 2019, with the hearing due to start at 9.30 am.
"Conservationists have made detailed submissions, and will be presenting evidence, to the inquiry though believe that wild Koalas can only be saved from extinction if there is a seismic shift in Government attitudes", NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
"With a 50% decline in north coast Koala populations over the past 20 years the NSW Government must show compassion and act urgently to protect remaining Koala colonies.
"Its quite simple, if we want to save Koalas then the first thing to do is to protect and rehabilitate their homes.
This Koala survived the fires but isn't looking too good and the leaves in the tree are desiccated. Photo D. Pugh
"Yet the Government treats them, and their plight, with the utmost contempt by bulldozing highways through their homes, rezoning them for housing, removing protections from logging, and granting a free-for-all exemption for land clearing.
"The Government's cynical creation of Koala Reserves where there are no Koalas and funding of more Koala hospitals are not redressing the basic need of caring for habitat.
"It is not too late to save Koalas on the north-coast, but only if the community stands up for Koalas and demands they be given a fair go. We need to show we care and make the Government listen.
"The plight of Koalas following the Busby's Flat fires is testimony to the Government's lack of compassion for Koalas.
"A week after the fires devastated one of our most important Koala populations on the north coast there is still no attempt to rescue the survivors.
"While those Koalas who took refuge in the few remaining tall trees survived the fire front, the heat of the understorey fire desiccated the canopy, leaving Koalas with dry leaves to eat.
"They are starving to death while the Government procrastinates", Mr. Pugh said.