Hello Koala Lovers,
I do hope that you and your families are safe during this dreadful COVID-19 time. AKF staff are all well and we continue to feel very proud of all of you who still support us in our work. This will end, but as I watch TV each evening and see the suffering of the people around the world, I feel heartbroken.
What is worse is the lack of leadership by many of the political leaders that are putting their own well being above those of their constituents. It is truly shocking and I am hoping, that we, the people, will not forget how they have led us during this incredible time.
It can be overwhelming to think about on a daily basis, but I am trying to just stay focused on my part of the world and try and see where the AKF fits into the new future. The Koala Protection Act is our goal. And you and me, all of us, will get it. When I feel overwhelmed, and I do, like everyone, I just focus on what I can do to exact change in my own sphere of influence. What I am now confident to say is that I think even our Australian leaders have been lucky in how they have handled our crisis here. Lucky because the bushfires had stopped many of the international planes coming into our country, even as early as December which reduced the risk of the spread. Lucky because we are only 25 million people. Lucky because we had incredible medical experts, one in particular on our national broadcaster whom we all trusted. Lucky because we are one of the sparsest human populations on earth and completely surrounded by sea.
It is easy to give them brownie points for keeping us safe, but in recent days I can feel that even Australia will not be exempt from what is coming over the next 12 months. Our airline chiefs are telling us it might be 2023 until international flights are in the air again at full capacity. The world will be so different when we finally come out of this slumber. How will this affect me, I think, how it will affect the AKF and certainly how will it affect the Koala and it’s habitat.
The Koala has always been the AKF focus and these two articles absolutely convince me that I must not have a false sense of security about what is happening in our country, particularly with regard to how power works and whether the environment will be protected. I encourage you to read both of these articles.
Both of these articles are saying what the AKF has been saying for years and that is current laws, either at a state level or a federal level, are not working. Worse still, and again AKF has known this forever, that “offsets” are just ridiculous. As I have said time and time again, do people really think that Koalas are going to pack their suitcases and move from their current homes (because it is being cut down) 600 miles/kilometres up the road to a new home. Of course they are not and it is “fabulous” to see the new report which says that the departments that govern Koala habitat are just next to useless. I know this because after 32 years, I have watched those departments have funding cut after funding cut, with the economic rationalists that have run the world for the last 30 years.
Although we the people are sharing and caring for each other more and more and the artists of the world are uniting to make us happy, our country struggles to support the arts. Like the environment, the arts are essential to our souls and sadly many conservative governments see no reason to protect both sectors. Governments of the future are going to have to govern in unfamiliar territory and we, the people will want and need to take a much larger role in how our societies work. The power brokers are going to be difficult to move, or remove, but luckily I live in a democracy that still works, but with funding cuts in recent times to our national broadcaster, I do feel that free speech will and is being curtailed.
I could go on and on about each sector that needs help but the key message for today is that of course our governments are still going to prop up the industries that continue to do damage to the environment and of course create revenue for Governments. While we are focused on being scared of getting sick, industry is still hard at work destroying landscapes because my media alerts tell me so each day. Many people contact the AKF wanting to stop it and by and large we are powerless, the laws do not and will not kick in as these articles articulate.
After a lot of contemplation and sorting out the feelings that come in such times, I am now clear about where I fit in and I will ensure that the AKF is preparing for whatever it takes to see the Koala Protection Act in our parliaments. I am going to focus on 2021 and try and be patient to watch all the changes that come each day.
Keep safe everyone, there will be brighter days and as always, a gorgeous Koala face to smile at you.