As you are likely aware, the Koala was listed as a federal species under the Federal Government’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in May 2012. Finally there was some symbolic recognition that the Koala is in serious trouble in this country. With the listing, the Federal Government of Australia had an opportunity to step in and really help Koala populations after two centuries of State Government failures.
How would the Federal Government use the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to end the destruction of Koala habitat? We all had high hopes, but in December of last year we received the first signs of capitulation with the release of the Draft referral guidelines for the vulnerable Koala for public comment. In short, we at the AKF are deeply unimpressed with the quality of the guidelines, and we do not believe these guidelines will halt declines in Koala numbers; the guidelines are more about reducing the workload for the Federal Government and development proponents.
So the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) has today lodged a submission with the Federal Department of the Environment condemning the draft EPBC Act referral guidelines for the vulnerable Koala. The passage of our Koala Protection Act through Federal Parliament remains our top priority, as we believe that such an act is the only way to achieve real protection for the Koala.
If you would like to make your own submission regarding the draft guidelines, visit this site: http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/draft-koala-referral-guidelines