I think in years to come, last week will be seen as an historic moment. I went to Canberra to be with Senator Bob Brown (a famous and incredibly respected politician and conservationist) and Senator Larissa Waters, a newly elected Senator to make public their intention to table a Koala Protection Bill into the Parliament in June. This will begin a hopefully short journey towards the enactment of a Koala Protection Act, something I have spoken about for years, into law so that we can get on with protecting the koala.
Even though the Koala has now been protected in New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory, it is still unprotected in Victoria and South Australia. Why would a Government decide that some koalas are more important than others and frankly it is just not good enough.
There is also a move by all Government’s to water down existing legislation. Some newly elected people are saying there is too much “green tape”, getting in the way of projects, like coal, coal seam gas, logging and industry. I find the whole debate so concerning, given the state of the environment generally, so I know that our future plans are logical, strategic and will in due course given ample protection for the Koala. I also know that if I was running those companies that I would not see a Koala on a site as a negative – on the contrary, it is something that could enhance our reputation. Why they don’t see that is beyond me. The last few months have been incredibly busy, the results of the Senate Inquiry, many overseas journalists, old staff leaving and new staff coming on board and there have not been enough hours in the day. If we have not communicated to you through a physical newsletter, I am very sorry – I am afraid that like many organizations we are captive to the internet and the day to day of our workload has been at times, a little overwhelming.
You are very important to us and as always I thank you for your faith in me and the AKF team to support the Koala.