Media Alert: NE NSW Joins Statewide Save Our Koalas Day of Action
In the face of inclement weather the people of Northern NSW are rallying in their thousands from Murwillumbah to Sydney this weekend to #SaveOurKoalas.
In Murwillumbah, Byron Bay, Lismore, Clarence Valley, Bellingen, Nambucca Heads, Armidale, the Hunter Valley, Central Coast and Sydney members of the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) are gathering to voice their outrage at the latest "Koala killer" SEPP from the Berejiklian Government.
NEFA President Dailan Pugh said "It is astounding that after the NSW Upper House Koala Inquiry found that NSW's Koalas are likely to be extinct in the wild by 2050, with virtually no protection for Koalas on private lands, that the Nationals launched their attack on the Koala State Environment Planning Policy that they had agreed to in 2019, wanting logging and clearing of Koala habitat to be exempt."
"The Government has taken this further by announcing they intend to allow logging to over-ride Council's Local Environment Plans, so that logging can occur in the 167,000 hectares of north coast environment zones that currently prohibit it, while removing Council's ability to require consent for logging. Councils will no longer have the right to protect high conservation areas, particularly core Koala habitat, in environmental zones."
"On the north coast Koala populations had declined by 50% in the 20 years before the Black Summer fires burnt 30% of their habitat, killing thousands of Koalas."
"With over 60% of Koalas on private lands their survival is at stake. The Government has already removed protection of core Koala habitat for the 20% of Koalas that live on State Forests." Said Mr Pugh
Vice President of the North Coast Environment Council (NCEC) Susie Russell said "A walk through Bulga State Forest west of Port Macquarie, will look for evidence of koalas. Logging is scheduled in the area of known koala habitation later this year. The surrounding forest will take from tens to hundreds of years to recover its habitat value for all of the species that depend on these forests.
"It's clear we can't rely on Governments to protect koalas. If we want them to have any chance of surviving into the future we need to fight for every single individual koala." she said.
Sean O'Shannessy from the Save Banyabba Koalas group says " Don't be fooled by the Berejiklian government's weasel words. The NSW government has made a lot of fine sounding promises about protecting our koalas from extinction but every action they have taken has only served to drive our koalas closer to the brink of oblivion. We cannot afford to stand by and smooth the pillow for our precious koalas' forest homes as John Barrilaro's logger and developer mates murder them all. Enough is ENOUGH!
"The community needs to stand up for Koalas now by demanding the protection of core Koala habitat, if we want Koalas to survive in the wild."
Here is a link to footage of koalas' forests being logged