Hello Koala lovers,
The AKF has submitted our submission for the new Senate Inquiry and I note the date has now been extended to 10th September so you still have time to make your comments. Our team did an amazing job preparing our submission which was 706 pages with all our appendices.
We also sent a copy of both Cameron Murray's (Game of Mates) and Tor Hundloe’s (Adani verses the Black-Throated Finch) books - they articulate many of the flaws in law and the planning process. I would encourage you to read them. You can contact AKF to find out how to buy a copy of each.
Submissions cannot be made public until the Parliamentary Committee approves them to go on their website, but I do want to show you the questions I posed at the beginning of our submission. If you answer these 3 questions, then it is clear why the Koala and its habitat continues to decline. The answer to Q2 and Q3 is No and No. It is very sobering.
- Who is the custodian of the Koala?
- Does a listing of the Koala automatically protect their habitat?
- Has the EPBC Act or any State legislation ever saved a significant landscape capable of maintaining a healthy population of wild Koalas?
So, to Q1. Who is the custodian of the Koala? Have you ever thought about it before? Who should be the custodian of the Koala?
What role should that custodian play if they take their job seriously? What legislation would be needed to make sure the custodian of the Koala actually did their job?
My answer to all that is the Koala Protection Act. We know this because AKF is very clear about what we think about all these questions and we will not rest until the legislation is in place. It was also the brief to the legal team who wrote it. Some of them wanted us to water it down because they thought that our federal politicians would never endorse it. AKF said no.
So, we need you to join the Koala Army. Over the next few months, we have to make sure you all understand why the Koala Protection Act is essential. Each day I get more and more emails and photos of Koalas that have been hit by a truck in a tunnel or other shocking images of beautiful Koalas being healthy in the morning and dead in the afternoon.
Dare to look at these incredibly sad pictures. They are so sad. The other thing that has just nearly driven us all mad is the endless merry go round of political leaders seeking yet another round of meetings with experts who can write yet another report in 3 year's time. Meanwhile Rome burns and Koalas die.
In Queensland currently there is yet another Koala Council being formed. I remember one of the first ones, way back in 1994. That did nothing to stop the onslaught of bulldozers and I am sure that this current one will be no more effective. The Ministers invite good people to sit on these committees, but those people sadly then learn they have been duped into thinking that anything they say will actually be enshrined in law. I know because I was one of them. Luckily I am not asked any more.
AKF has asked to observe this meeting, but I am sure I will not get a reply from the Minister.
I also suggested to Minister Frydenberg (the current custodian of the Koala) to send one of his representatives. It is his job to oversee what the States are doing and I do wonder if you think this current Minister is doing his job as custodian. Let me know your thoughts on that question (contact me).
I also thought you may like to see the names of the political leaders that have been in power since I got my job (Australian Politicians in Office over the last 30 years). They are an illustrious lot and you would think they might think that the plight of the Koala was/is important to our country and our heritage.
I will leave it to you to consider.