Showing posts with label extinction crisis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label extinction crisis. Show all posts

Thursday, 26 November 2020

KOALA FACING EXTINCTION IN NSW: “I live on NSW North Coast, and our whole community is in uproar and distress.”

 

No trees, no me
IMAGE: Koala at Iluka in Clarence Valley, supplied


The Sydney Morning Herald, opinion piece, 22 November 2020:


Sorry, what, Premier?


Our farmers deserve certainty,” you and your Deputy Premier John Barilaro said in statement after one of your own, Catherine Cusack, crossed the floor on Thursday afternoon to thwart what would have been yet more devastating land-clearing legislation hastening the extinction of koalas.


And what, pray tell, do our koalas deserve, Premier? Who speaks up for them? Premier, as you know better than most, for 240 years since colonisation this continent has wiped out habitat after habitat, eco-system after eco-system, species after species. In recent years – even as the consequences of environmental devastation have been realised – the ongoing land-clearing has been justified on the reckoning that we just need a few more developments, a few more swathes of trees gone, another election or two won, and then we can stop. But we are getting near the end of the line. If it is not our generation that stops the endless clearing to protect the koalas and other species, which generation is it? If it is not a Premier with your smarts and former reputation for integrity that will stand up for what you know is right, then which one? For you know how bad this legislation is! When two-thirds of NSW koalas live on private property, you seriously want to defend legislation that allows owners to wipe them out at will? But you still backed down anyway to John Barilaro who refers to koalas as “tree rats” and put out a press release with him blathering about how the farmers deserve better.


The hero of the piece is Lib Catherine Cusack who crossed the floor to stop the legislation, and she makes the point to me that you and yours do the NSW farmers a serious disservice.


The claim that farmers want this,” she told me, “is overwhelmingly false. They love koalas and do not defend the minority cowboys and corporations. I really believe farmers share community values and wielding them as an excuse defames farmers. I live on NSW North Coast, and our whole community is in uproar and distress. The councils up here asked for greater power to protect habitat and the bill removes them.”


That bill is a disgrace, and you know it, Premier. This time Ms Cusack has stopped it, but it needs more Libs and Nats of integrity to also speak out and say what needs to be said, to support her – or at least kill it off in the back rooms. We are looking at you, Rob Stokes and Matt Kean for starters.


Sunday, 22 November 2020

Barilaro, the stealthy empire builder in 2020


When Liberal MP for Willoughby Gladys Berejiklian was sworn in as Premier of New South Wales on 23 January 2017, Nationals MP for Monaro John Barilaro (left) had already been Deputy-Premier under Bruce Baird for 38 days.


On 30 January 2017 Berejiklian made Barilaro Minister for Regional New South Wales. Twenty-six months later Berejiklian expanded this ministerial portfolio into the Minister for Regional New South Wales, Industry and Trade.


On the same day Barilaro’s regional portfolio was expanded, Berejiklianestablished the new Department of Regional NSW to better coordinate support for communities, businesses and farmers in the bush.


The new department headquartered in Queanbeyan acts as a central agency that brings together functions from the Department of Planning Industry and Environment cluster and, is being led by Secretary Gary Barnes, formerly the Coordinator General, Regional NSW, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.


The departmental workforce is expected to eventually reach around 5,000 employees, according to its Linkedin entry.


John Barilaro said the department will bring together Primary Industries, Local Land Services, Resources and Geoscience and regional coordination across government…..it is imperative we have a government designed to properly support every corner of this State.


What this means for regional communities is that Barilaro has gathered into his ministerial portfolio the processes for carrying forward increased land clearing, increased native timber logging on private and Crown land, as well as further exploration and mining in regional NSW. 


Water security has also been included in this portfolio - which would cover planning for future water storage and water diversion.


Based on Berejiklian Government promotional material for the Department of Regional NSW it is clear that Barilaro now sits atop a portfolio which holds in its departmental domain an est. 40 per cent of all NSW residents, in around 99 local government areas which produce approximately one-third of the total NSW gross state product.


Barilaro has gathered his own party members as minsters with responsibilities within the department - Nationals MLA for Northern Tablelands and Minister for Agriculture and Western New South Wales Adam Marshall and Nationals MLC and Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women Bronnie Taylor.


There does not seem to be a NSW Liberal Party politician within cooee of the new regional department.


Five months after becoming New South Wales regional czar, John Barilaro began to flex his muscles with threats to destabilise the Berejiklian Government and the political koala war briefly erupted.


One cannot escape the suspicion that Barilaro is not seeking to raise the profiles of those mere 18 National Party members in the 134 member NSW Parliament, but is intent on creating an alternative state government situated in regional New South Wales. 


Reading Mr. Barilaro's personal and political history as played out in the media, it is evident that he is a moderately wealthy former local government councillor & businessman, unashamedly ambitious, erratic, a dogwhistler since the beginning of his political career, willing to resort to threats and name calling, flouts the road rules at will, has long been happiest pulling the house down around the ears of government agencies in the name of  'reform', is willing to put his bootheel on the neck of north-east NSW and, apparently intends to keep pushing Gladys Berejiklian until she breaks.


Image: Newscolony.com


Monday, 16 November 2020

Meet the wannabe Koala killers of the Clarence Valley


Clarence Valley's very own wannabe koala killers. From left to right: Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons, Federal Nationals MP for Page Kevin Hogan, General Manager of Operations for Big River Group in Grafton Jason Blanch, Big River Group CEO Jim Bindon and  NSW Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis. IMAGE: Clarence Valley Independent, 11.11.20











Clarence Valley Independent, 11 November 2020:


A major restructure of Big River Group’s operations will see 20 new jobs created in the Grafton area while up to 50 will disappear from the Riverina region.


One of the Clarence Valley’s largest timber companies, Big River Group currently has two main operating facilities located in Junction Hill and Wagga Wagga.


Unfortunately, following the Black Summer bushfires, the long term supply of logs for their operations in southern NSW was severely impacted and it became apparent there was insufficient log resources in the Tumut region to sustain the Wagga Wagga facility, leading to a decision to consolidate operations at Junction Hill, where a sustainable supply of hardwood and softwood logs exist to supply productions.


Big River Group has recently been successful in securing a $10 million grant, provided through the Bushfire Industry Recovery Package, co-funded by the NSW and Federal Governments and matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis by the business, to assist in consolidating its operations and enhance the Junction Hill site.


Big River Group CEO Jim Bindon and General Manager of Operations for Big River Group in Grafton Jason Blanch were joined by Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan, Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis and Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons for the official announcement on November 4.....


Mr Hogan said the announcement was “a wonderful day for the Clarence Valley and our timber industry.”


We know the industry was devastated by the bushfires last year and this is all about creating jobs in our local region and it ensures the viability of the industry,” he said.


Along with the capacity to create 20 new jobs, Mr Hogan also said the $20 million project secures the jobs of the current 60 full time employees.


This is terrific,” added Mr Gulaptis.


It means more jobs in the Clarence Valley and Big River Group can continue on with the great work that they do.


Grafton is a timber town, Big River Group have been here for decades, they’re an integral part of our community and we want to see them here well into the future.”…..


The Wagga Wagga facility will cease operations in 2021.


Big River Group Pty Ltd (formerly known as Big River Timbers Pty Ltd) was registered as a company on 28 July 1920.  It original company profile indicates it was possibly a local family-owned business. 


It is now a subsidiary of Big River Industries Ltd, registered as a company on 18 December 2015 in Victoria. It became a public company in January 2017.


Among the current Big River Industries and Big River Group officeholders there is only one who resides in the Clarence Valley.


What the Big River Industries tells its shareholders


"Big River operates Plywood and value adding factories at both Wagga Wagga and Grafton in NSW, areas amongst the most severely impacted regions of the devasting [sic] bushfires experienced over the 2019/20 summer period. Both areas saw significant losses of forest estates as part of these fire events. This has fundamentally changed the resource supply availability to the business, requiring a change to the Company’s manufacturing asset configuration. 


Whilst the Northern NSW log resource at Grafton, that the Company accesses under supply agreements with Forest Corporation of NSW (FCNSW), will recover or can be compensated from other forest compartments within the region." 


In ASX releases Big River Industries Limited admits to revenue of $249 million (up 14%) in 2019-20 and an after tax profit of $4,444,257. It also states an expectation in its last annual report that it will expand in the future.


In the aforementioned quote Big River Industries - which in this state sources some or most of its timber from the state-owned  Forestry Corporation of Australia - is admitting that forests in the Clarence Valley were "severely impacted" by the 2019-2020 bushfire season.


In fact at least half the forest canopy overall was partially or fully affected in New South Wales fire grounds according a NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment report.


Further Big River Industries hints it expects to take advantage of the additional biodiverse forests areas that were opened up by the Berejiklian Coalition Government for the benefit of its Forestry Corporation.


You know, those native tree stands, which coincide with forested land already identified as habitat suitable for or currently containing North Coast koala populations.


Big River Industries may only have two plywood production sites however one of these is at Grafton.


The principal plywood it makes includes timber from native hardwood trees and, the Clarence Valley contains the bulk of native hardwood timber trees remaining in North East New South Wales. These trees are frequently found in predictive koala habitat on Crown and private land.


According to its 2020 annual report Big River Industries has active business interests in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, West Australia and New Zealand.


Although its assets are widespread, the apparent greed of its board of directors and shareholders means that it will not even allow the Clarence Valley two years grace before it starts buying up timber freshly felled in sensitive, biodiverse habitats likely sited outside of state forests. 


Want to tell Big River how unimpressed you are with their actions? 


Here are some contact details: 

Jim Bindon (CEO and Managing Director) Ph: (02) 6644 0903 

e: jbindon@bigrivergroup.com.au 


Or directors Malcolm Jackman (Member of Anacasia Capital Business Advisory Council), Martin Kaplan (investment director of international private equity firm Anacasia Capital), Vicky Papachristos (professional company director) and Brendan York (Chief Financial Officer & Secretary, Enro Group Ltd a international company) c/- 61 Trenayr Road, Junction Hill NSW 2460 Phone: (02) 6644 0900 Fax: (02) 6643 3328 Postal: PO Box 281 Grafton 2460


Then of course there are the wannbe kola killers hiding within international and domestic financial corporations and banks as well as self-managed superannuation funds which brought Big River . 


 

Top 20 Shareholders as of 30 June 2019


The question some valley residents have been voicing recently is why NSW Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis is enthusiastically supporting the Big River Group and, why on behalf of the timber industry he appears to be knowingly seeking the extinction of the koala in 

the Clarence Valley.


It seems to be a social and political relationship with another timber business which impels this politician.


The head of the Notaris family strongly disliked the idea that koala habitat 

should be protected from loggers and his family's sawmill. He even went so far as to publicly oppose a Labor candidate in the Clarence electorate and support the Nationals incumbent Chris Gulaptis during the 2015 

state election campaign because Labor had pledged to create the Great 

Koala National Park.


Chris Gulaptis read his friendship with Spiro Notaris into the NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard on 18 February 2016.


J. Notraris & Sons Pty Ltd is still operating a timber business specialising in hardwood in South Grafton today and, like most 

National Party politicians Gulaptis is more about helping out mates than acting in the public interest.





Saturday, 14 November 2020

Tweets of the Week

 

 

 

Friday, 13 November 2020

NSW Nationals Local Land Services Amendment (Miscellaneous Bill 2020 pulled in NSW Legislative Council after what appears to have been a Liberal revolt

 


Local government and community reaction to this bill has seen it removed from the list of Current Government Bills before the Legislative Council on Thursday, 12 November 2020.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party lodged amendments yesterday morning which did nothing except confirm the worst features of this bill.

The war to protect both koalas and forests continues.......


Tuesday, 10 November 2020

"You and your boof-headed party, Mr. Gulaptis, and the appalling anti-environment government which you are part of, will be responsible for the extinction of koalas in our region...."

 



Chris Gulaptis MP, the NSW Nationals & Koalas



Our local State MP Chris Gulaptis, the Nationals’ Member for Clarence, has claimed that he loves Koalas like every other Australian. The Grafton Nannas believe he has a very strange way of showing this recently-revealed affection.


Since 2011, when the Nationals came into government in NSW, they have been pressuring their Coalition partners to weaken biodiversity protection. This has resulted in significant weakening of both native vegetation legislation and State Forest logging regulations. Both of these changes have had serious impacts on biodiversity - including on koalas.

Koalas have suffered from a range of impacts in recent years including climate induced drought and bushfires as well as dog attack, car strike and disease. But a major cause of their decline has been habitat loss. The NSW Nationals have had a big role in recent years in ensuring that habitat loss is accelerating.


In September we had the unedifying “dummy spit” drama where the Nationals threatened to withdraw from the Government because they objected to the Governments’ Koala SEPP (State Environmental Planning Policy) which had come into operation in March after being negotiated in late 2019. This SEPP was a slight improvement on the years-old model which had failed completely as a koala protective measure.


Chris Gulaptis was one of the prime movers in this melodrama.


Shortly after Premier Gladys Berejiklian called their bluff, the Nationals, many of whom did not want to lose their ministerial perks, backed down.


There was considerable speculation about why the Nationals had suddenly found the SEPP so intolerable after it they had had input to its development and it had already been on the books for around six months.


It seemed to boil down to lobbying by certain property developers, Nationals’ supporters who were worried they might have difficulty is pursuing their plans for rural subdivisions or residential development on urban outskirts because they would need to put in development applications to councils. This would then trigger the SEPP. So it appeared Nationals politicians like the prime mover Chris Gulaptis believed these interests should outweigh the protection of koalas which are on track to extinction in NSW by 2050 unless really effective measures are put in place to protect them and their habitat.


Following the Nationals’ backdown, there were behind the scenes negotiations between the Coalition partners that led to significant changes to the Koala SEPP. Unsurprisingly the Liberals caved in and the SEPP was watered down. For example the definition of core koala habitat became more restricted and developing a Koala Plan of Management was made more difficult for councils.


That was bad enough, but the extent of the Liberals’ spinelessness became more apparent with the appearance of the Local Land Services (LLS) Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2020. It further limits any opportunity to protect koala habitat.


This Bill has since been passed in the Legislative Assembly.


The Grafton Nannas held a knit-in protest outside Chris Gulaptis’ Grafton office on Thursday.


In a letter to Mr Gulaptis which was delivered to the office, we expressed our disgust with him and his party.


Below is the text of this letter:


LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2020


When we wrote to you in September about your party’s koala protection dummy spit, we expressed our disgust at your determination to undermine koala protection at a time when it was urgently needed. At that time the Nannas thought it would have been impossible to be more disgusted with you and your party.


The changes to the Koala SEPP that followed the rapprochement of your party with the Liberals showed the Nannas just how weak was the Government commitment to ensuring koalas were protected and rescued from their slide towards extinction.


And then, just to show how unimportant biodiversity protection and the fate of koalas was, the Liberals pandered further to the Nationals with the LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill which has now passed in the Legislative Assembly.


You and your boof-headed party, Mr Gulaptis, and the appalling anti-environment government which you are a part of, will be responsible for the extinction of koalas in our region, if not in all NSW.”


-------------------------------------------------------


Leonie Blain

Grafton Knitting Nannas Against Gas and Greed



Sunday, 1 November 2020

Forests and Koalas: why the NSW Nationals are so willing to betray communities in the Northern Rivers region


Before the disastrous 2019-2020 bushfire season the NSW North Coast region comprised 9.7 million hectares of land, with 65 per cent of it forested. Over half (3.4 million hectares) of the region’s forests were in private ownership, spread across thousands of individual holdings, according to NSW Dept. of Primary Industries (DPI).


The north coast had a diverse array of forest types and most of the tree cover was estimated to be between >20 to <30 metres and >30 to <40 metres in height across an est. 20,706 square kilometres.


This is how the Berejiklian Government saw those forests within the Northern Rivers region before the mega bushfires came through:


Extent of forest cover in north-east New South Wales



Extent of harvestable timber on private land and operating timber mills



Again, according to the DPI in March 2019; Properties with native forests that generated ‘very high’ stumpage values (based on their yield association) were mainly located between Coffs Harbour and Casino. Properties with native forests with ‘high’ stumpage values were far more widespread extending in a broad band (50-100 kilometres wide) along the full length of the north coast.


Properties in early 2019 which had a ‘Very High’ suitability for timber production were located between 50km and 100km from the coast between Grafton and the Queensland Border, with ‘High’ suitability properties occupying a broader band that extended from Coffs Harbour to the Queensland border. At its widest point, west of Casino, this band is said to extend 130 kilometres inland.


Joint EPA-Dept. of Industry Forest Science Unit predictive mapping of remaining NSW koala habitat based on sighting records, vegetation, soils and climate


"Modelling koala habitat",  NSW EPA. July 2019

It is easy to see that most of the remaining Northern Rivers koala habitat falls within those areas with operating timber mills and land on which the NSW Forestry Corporation has cast its rapacious eye.

According to the NSW Forestry Corporation around 60 per cent of the net harvest area available for timber production in the Northern Rivers region was impacted by fires during the 2019-2020 bushfire season, but this corporation appears to view a coastal strip around 100kms wide and 216kms long - containing thousands of parcels of private  land - as able post-fires to supply it with commercial timber for years to come.


The forestry industry is actively lobbying government for access to more native timber citing increased employment as one benefit. 


Despite the fact that Australia-wide the forestry industry appears to only employ around 10,700 people in a potential 2020 workforce of est. 13.5 million (ABS September 2020) and, according to industry reports; The Forestry and Logging industry has performed poorly over the past five years. Industry output is projected to decline at an annualised 1.3% over the period, with downstream demand also weakening…..

Furthermore, lower demand from log sawmilling, and declines in residential building construction have contributed to several years of revenue declines. Industry revenue is expected to decline at an annualised 1.4% over the five years through 2020-21, to $4.7 billion.


What this all means is that stressed koala communities already competing with urban expansion, increased traffic, historical and recent habitat loss, are now being threatened by the business strategy of one of the largest forestry corporations in Australia, the financial self-interest of around 32 operating timber mills within the Northern Rivers region, as well as the political self-interest of 12 National Party members who sit in the NSW Legislative Assembly and 6 National Party members sitting in the Legislative Council.


This shared self-interest in encapsulated in the bill passed by the Assembly earlier this month and still to be voted on by the Council, the Local Land Services Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2020which extinguishes state koala habitat protection policy on most NSW land and seeks to (i) allow the commercial logging of native trees to continue unimpeded on private land by circumventing a government review of the private forestry system and (ii) to allow future clearing of native timber on farmland without the need for authorisation under other state legislationincluding the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. 


If any North Coast Voices readers have concerns about the fate of forests and koalas on the NSW North Coast I suggest that they phone or email members of the NSW Legislative Council before Tuesday, 10 November 2020, using the link below which takes you straight to the parliamentary web page which lists the contact details for all 42 members:

https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/members/pages/all-members.aspx?&house=lc&tab=browse


BACKGROUND


SATURDAY, 14 DECEMBER 2019

THURSDAY, 29 OCTOBER 2020

TUESDAY, 27 OCTOBER 2020

WEDNESDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2020

TUESDAY, 10 MARCH 2020

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Will this be one of the last attempts available to communities seeking to legally curb rapacious loggers from destroying New South Wales koala habitat?

 

Clarence Valley Independent, 21 October 2020:


The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has commenced five prosecutions in the Land and Environment Court against Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCN) for allegedly breaching licence requirements in 2018.


Allegedly committed by FCN’s contractors, the offences – the felling of trees in exclusion zones and protected areas, some of which are specifically set up to protect koala habitat – took place in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest (west southwest of Glenreagh).


The FCN states in a media release that it had set aside “three times” the required kola habitat “under the rule set” and that the “EPA’s allegations relate to nine trees”, despite “protecting an additional 6,000 trees”.


The prosecutions follow the EPA issuing a stop work order on Saturday July 18, to cease tree harvesting, in compartments 32, 33 and 34 of the forest, where “serious breaches of forestry operations rules” were alleged to have been committed.


The EPA alleges that the current alleged breaches occurred in compartments 539 and 540 of the forest, in breach of Forestry Corporation’s licence.


The EPA’s acting chief executive officer, Jacqueleine Moore, said it was unacceptable to put vulnerable species, such as the koala, in danger by breaking the rules.


We have strict procedures in place to protect wildlife, and if they are disregarded it can put these animals under threat,” Ms Moore said.


The EPA alleges that: Forestry Corporation’s contractors felled trees and operated snig tracks (tracks created by harvesting machinery) within a koala high use area exclusion zone located within Compartment 539 of the forest; and, contractors felled trees in protected rainforest areas and an exclusion zone around warm temperate rainforest.


Offences relating to koala exclusion zones carry a maximum penalty of $440,000 each; the other “three offences carry a maximum penalty of $110,000 each”.


In this instance, after a long investigation process that involved interviews and a consultation process with Forestry Corporation, the EPA has decided that these actions warrant prosecution,” Ms Moore said.


We’re sending a strong message that laws created to protect the environment, and in particular vulnerable species like the koala, must be adhered to.”…..


It should be noted that NSW state forests are exempt from the provisions of State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala HabitatProtection) 2019 (amended 3 September & 16 October 2020), as is private land being commercially logged under a private native forestry plan.


Exemptions go further and it appears all land now listed as "any area of the State" in Part 5A below (apart from certain land in Ballina, Coffs Harbour City, Lismore, Kempsey & Port Stephens local government areas) is no longer covered by the Koala Habitat Protection SEPP under amendments to NSW Land Services Act 2013 being rammed through state parliament by the NSW National Party. 


It seems that this may possibly only leave urban land already covered by a local government registered development control plan and the national park estate with a certain degree of protection


PART 5A - LAND MANAGEMENT (NATIVE VEGETATION)


This Part applies to any area of the State, other than the following--


(a) urban areas of the State to which State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017 applies,

(b) national park estate and other conservation areas, namely--

(i) a wilderness area declared under the Wilderness Act 1987 , or

(ii) land reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 or acquired by the Minister administering that Act under Part 11 of that Act, or

(iii) land dedicated or set apart as a flora reserve under the Forestry Act 2012 (or any Act repealed by that Act), or

(iv) land to which an interim heritage order or listing on the State Heritage Register under the Heritage Act 1977 applies, or

(v) a declared area of outstanding biodiversity value under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 , or

(vi) an area declared to be critical habitat under Division 3 of Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 , or

(vii) a declared World Heritage property within the meaning of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 of the Commonwealth, or

(viii) land dedicated or reserved under the Crown Lands Act 1989 for similar public purposes for which land is reserved, declared or listed under the other Acts referred to in this paragraph, or

(ix) land to which an interim protection order under Part 11 (Regulatory compliance mechanisms) of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 applies, or

(x) Lord Howe Island,

(c) State forestry land, namely--

(i) land that is a State forest or timber reserve under the Forestry Act 2012 , or

(ii) land acquired under Division 4 of Part 3 of the Forestry Act 2012 for the purposes of a State forest (not being any such land acquired for the purposes of a timber plantation).

The regulations may amend this section for the purposes of adding or removing areas of the State to which this Part applies (or of revising references to areas of the State). [my yellow highlighting]


Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Dispatches from the Australian Koala War - Part Two



The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 September 2020:

One of the NSW Nationals' most vocal opponents of the koala planning policy relayed concerns about the divisive issue to Planning Minister Rob Stokes on behalf of political donors connected to a major property venture.

Nationals MP for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead wrote to Mr Stokes in February, passing on an email from Raymond Stack, the chairman of Stacks Finance, concerning the state’s new koala planning policy.

The letter to Mr Bromhead from Mr Stack on February 24, released to NSW Parliament on Wednesday, included correspondence from two other engineering and land development companies raising concerns with the state’s koala planning policy.

"Is there anything that can be done to delay it 'till there is proper consultation," Mr Stack wrote to Mr Bromhead……

It follows confirmation from Mr Stokes' office that the only stakeholder correspondence he received from Nationals leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro about the policy was from developer and former Newcastle mayor Jeff McCloy.

The Stack family are donors to the Liberal and Nationals parties at a state and federal level.

Mr Stack is also one of several directors of Hocana Pty Ltd, which owns land set to become part of the multimillion-dollar Taree development Figtrees on the Manning.

He made a $100,000 donation to the federal Liberal Party ahead of the 2016 election, according to electoral commission disclosure records.

"So far as I know that donation was a perfectly legitimate donation and I reported it as required," Paul Stack said.

Other members of the Stack family have made donations to the Nationals, including a $2000 donation in 2015 to the party, labelled "Stephen Bromhead election campaign".

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by the Stack family…..

The other businesses featured in the email chain Mr Bromhead forwarded to the Planning Minister were Hopkins Consulting and Land Dynamics Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 September 2020:

The koala planning policy, which sparked the bitter civil war in the Coalition, will be debated at the next cabinet meeting on October 6, with the Nationals demanding a raft of changes.

Port Stephens Examiner, 10 September 2020:

A grassroots campaign to save the threatened Port Stephens koala population in Brandy Hill has resulted in Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley delaying her decision on the proposed expansion of a rock quarry operated by Hanson. Ms Ley was expected to hand down a decision on Tuesday, September 8 but a concerted community push led by Brandy Hill and Seaham Action Group (BHSAG) has resulted in a stay of execution and the deadline for a decision being extended to October 13. The quarry expansion, which includes 52 hectares of core koala habitat, was granted by the Independent Planning Commission in July, but required federal approval because the project had been deemed likely to have a significant impact on a matter of national environmental significance.

The Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie NSW: 


Evans Head CW 
On examination CW was found to have a ruptured left eye and minor limb injuries – consistent with being hit by a car. His left eye was removed, and he was placed into care and was treated for his injuries. CW will be part of the hospital’s breeding program. 

Ballina Franklin 
This young male koala was admitted into care, responding well to treatment with his care progressing as expected. Ballina Franklin is not only now part of our permanent team of koalas, but he is now an integral part of our wild koala breeding program – something we are sure he will handle quite well!