Showing posts with label Great Koala National Park proposal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Great Koala National Park proposal. Show all posts

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

The Berejiklian Government appears willing to stand by and watch wild koalas rapidly go extinct in New South Wales within the next 30 years

Under cover of the public heath emergency created by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Berejiklian Government is still not genuinely moving to save koala populations in New South Wales from extinction.

The Liberal Party leadership is still paralysed by the blackmail threats of National Party leader and MLA for Monaro John Barilaro - and so Liberal MLA for Hornsby Matt Kean in his conflicted role of Minister for Energy and Environment is doing little except mouthing soothing platitudes and making empty promises.

Because logging remaining native forests on Crown and private land - for woodchip, logs, sawn & dressed timber and biomass for power station/s - is what Liberal and Nationals shadowy political donors, greedy logging companies and developers hungry for cheap land are insisting needs to happen.

People in the Northern Rivers region are noticing.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 January 2021: 

Koala advocates say the NSW government is not doing enough to save the animal from extinction after it backed without qualification a quarter of the recommendations of an upper house inquiry into the marsupial's populations and habitat. 

In its formal response into the koala inquiry, the government supported 11 of the 42 recommendations, while offering "support in principle" to 17 others. 

It "noted" the remaining 14. Among the recommendations supported was the suggestion the government rule out opening old-growth forests within the state reserve for logging, and that it create Georges River National Park to secure habitat on Sydney's southern fringe. 

However, it only "noted" the call to investigate setting up a Great Koala National Park in northern NSW. 

“Recommendations such as the government urgently investigates the ‘utilisation of core koala habitat on private land and in state forests to replenish koala habitat lost in the bushfires’ appear to be rejected out of hand," Cate Faehrmann, the Greens MP and chair of the upper house committee, said. 

“Many of the key recommendations, the vast majority of which were supported by all committee members because they are what needs to be done to save koalas from extinction, seem to have been rejected outright." 

The inquiry's report, released last June, found koalas were on track for extinction in the wild in NSW before 2050 with habitat loss the main driver of their demise. Environment Minister Matt Kean said in the following month that he would set a goal to double the numbers of the animals - believed to be as few as 15,000 to 20,000 - by 2050.....

Friday, 4 December 2020

On keeping faith with the environment, biodiversity and our natural landscapes


Wildlife Crusaders For Our Environment shared this letter on Facebook. It was written by Catherine Cusack, Member of the NSW Legislative Council since March 2013, to Friends of Kalang Headwaters:

Dear Friends of Kalang Headwaters,

Can I say I am incredibly flattered by the invitation and if I could be there without cancelling other commitments I would 100% be there.

Apart from the many good reasons to join you, the best part of my job is first hand seeing our incredible ancient landscape with people who understand it and can explain what I am looking at, what has happened and the actions we need to take.

The real heroes in our state are those who care, whose deep knowledge is the result of years of observation, concern, research and trying to share with their communities and people like me in politics who they believe have a duty to respect and act upon the facts.

I cannot find words to adequately describe my respect for all that work and advocacy for our environment. And I would add the word worry. People are really worried about past mistakes, how we can address them and where things are headed. Anxiety for our precious and fragile landscape and the species in trouble because it’s their home and we failed to respect that. All of it is local. All of it is respectful and all of it is informed by science - and I am just the blow in whose contribution is simply to listen and absorb the information. Information that has taken years of work to discern. The briefings I receive are beautifully prepared often people take time off work and fit in with my program. I cannot tell you how lucky I am in this job and how duty bound I feel to act on the information I am given. There is patience even when it’s forced because frankly past mistakes for whatever reason make me angry and so I can only imagine how local communities who live through the errors must feel.

I voted against my Government's Bill because it was just wrong and a big mistake - the suffering was all about being disloyal to my team who gave me no choice.

The messages of support I received were completely unexpected and overwhelming. I was stunned and of course very grateful because it was a big fall for me - and people who I don’t know reached out to put me back on my feet again.

I have thought so much about how surprised and pleased people were by my vote. I can only guess they have become used to disappointment in decisions and how “the system” just isn’t hearing what they are saying. These people I am referring to have poured their lives into helping our environment and while I am grateful, I am also sorry it was an unexpected surprise. I get it because I worked hard before the Bill was debated in Parliament and well know that sinking feeling - this is super important and nobody is listening to me.

After the vote they played Tom Perry’s song “I won’t back down”. I certainly experienced a rush of affection for them but needed to message that wasn’t the song I was listening to as I dragged my sorry self up to Parliament that morning. The song I was playing on a loop that I will always associate with that issue was The Eagles “Take it to the Limit”. Because for me that song was all about OMG I am failing but I have got to keep trying and when I fail again I need to try harder.

I tell this story because these feelings I recognise in every passionate person trying to assist our environment. I sure know that weariness and so when in spite of being so tired you keep going - well that’s what inspires me.

There is a Bobby Kennedy quote I first heard as a child. This is off topic but google Bobby Kennedy’s son Robert Kennedy Jnr environment podcasts and get ready to be inspired.

Anyway this is his father’s quote and I love it because gives me so much optimism about the power of community activism.

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

There are ripples of hope crisscrossing our state and all of you know this to be true because you are the ripples of hope. And it is becoming a mighty torrent.

Last week the torrent was unleashed on a government Bill I voted against. It happened to be me - but I was just the end product of a massive shift in opinion driven by local activism. I wouldn’t be there or be able to do that if not for you. What you are doing is reversing political currents in politics it is making a difference and the power only grows because of perseverance in the face of disappointments and adversity.

Please never stop or feel disheartened. It is making such a difference.

In my speech I mentioned the sad fate of a local koala colony in Ballina Shire impacted by the construction of the Pacific Motorway. I tried so hard at a really early stage of the project and to cut a very long story short, I failed. It is an experience I say honestly, I am embittered by what happened; there were other options but no, it was the koalas who copped it. In some ways my decision to block the LLS Bill is rooted in that defeat. I am not interested anymore in “mitigation” or “offsets” we are so far beyond those ideas as viable strategies. Nothing will restore what happened there in the Blackhall Range and nothing can console the adoring community who knew each koala and cared for their habitat. I share that story of a lost battle because it contributed to the defeat of the Bill last week. Losing battles can sometimes win wars - I am bewildered as to why this is so hard but it is and we just push through it regardless.

I applaud the conservation proposal for the Kalang headwaters. I love that river and I am jealous of everyone who is present at the ceremony. Thank all of you for caring for the river it’s ecosystem and wildlife.

Please never stop believing politics can be better than it is. My personal motto is the longer it takes, the bigger the party when we get there! Let’s try together to get there.

Thanks for keeping the faith.