Hello Koala Lovers,
It is that time of the year when the AKF team and I take a break for our summer holidays and Christmas celebrations.
It has been a very long year to be frank. Apart from world conflict, it seems to me that every single time I look at any newspaper, social media platform, or newsletters from Koala groups, that there are more and more issues about problems facing the environment. Shocking really when we all know that Mother Nature is very unsettled right now.
When I feel overwhelmed about some of that information, I go straight back to what my grandmother used to say; “stick to your knitting”.
The AKF’s “knitting” is the Koala Protection Act. We know that existing legislation fails not only the Koala but all creatures great and small that live in Koala forests, which constitute 20% of the Australian continent. Saving those forests will save thousands of other species and the Koala and I know it—have done for years.
We have great plans for the AKF in 2024, and the Koala Army will play a major role. I cannot wait to announce our new ideas, but it will mean taking our concerns to Canberra during Save the Koala Month (September).
It is time that our federal politicians really understand the power of the Koala Protection Act (well, they actually do because they have seen it), and more importantly it is time that all Australians understood why the Koala Protection Act will work and why it has to be enacted sooner than later. Planning for announcing our new initiative is well underway and I think you are all going to love it.
After all these years in the job, I have decided to just put a line in the sand about many issues and next year journalists will only hear this from me; “Ask Minister Plibersek that question”.
The AKF is tired of having to prove the Koala is in trouble and the Koala was listed by that very same Minister as Endangered in most parts of Australia. Why does the Minister think that spending $10m on counting Koalas (with an end date of 2032) is even relevant and why does the interim report for the Koala Recovery Team appear to have no urgency or purpose? That report is underwhelming.
Now that Minister is spreading cash around for new Koala hospitals, tree plantings, research, drones, dog sniffing, and many things that are not getting to the nub of the issue; habitat destruction. Whilst some of these projects are important, the AKF has to take the view that they are bandaids if you do not stop the key problem in the first place. And that is habitat destruction and fragmentation of landscapes for forestry, mining, development and roads.
The AKF knows, and has for years, that there is nothing right now that can stop that happening.
Our resolve is clear and so is Urban’s. This is the first time he has been animated and next year he will play a vital role in spreading simple and easy to understand messages about what is happening in the bush, not just for the Koala but the other creatures that live with them.
I think the world will be shocked to hear what he has to say.
Merry Christmas and see you next year.