The day after my May Diary entry which talked of the koalas being culled in Victoria, I received a phone call from the Victorian Ministers office. It was one of her staff – very upset.
Gosh this is good news, I thought...
But in fact, she was upset because 'someone she presumed to be an AKF member' had texted the Minister about the Koala cull.
For those of you who do know of the English TV Show Yes Minister, I found myself being confronted by Sir Humphrey whose job it is to protect the Minister. It was hilarious, but should not be evident in real life.
'Have you read my Diary?' I asked.
'No,' she replied.
'Do you intend to?' I asked.
'No,' she replied again.
She wanted whoever it was to stop texting the Minister. She was outraged that AKF had put the Minister’s phone number on our website, which we had not, by the way, but I don’t think she believed me. I have to think - what does that say about a Minister and her advisor in this sad situation.
So, whoever you are, the person who did have that number, can you please let me know. I think it is time to put it on our website so we can all text her and her Minister. Perhaps that will show her that many are concerned about the Koala and given that she is the custodian of the Koala in Victoria, we want her to get on with the job.
Other than that, we have had no feedback and I am hoping that any suffering Koalas are now in peace and that the Minister will be concerned about what she has to do next and that is; fix the habitat. I note that there is some tree planting going on and I did explain to the Minister’s advisor that AKF could help with solutions but I have not heard back.
A Queensland Minister also told a radio station that he would contact AKF about other Koala matters here in Queensland, but it would seem his advisors may well be watching Yes Minister, too. I imagine when it is election time that we will hear how much they love Koalas which is part of their political seduction.
There has been a lot going on since I wrote that Diary; our tribute to Dr John Woolcock, my comments about inadequate mapping in NSW, and my comments about the quality of the science about Koalas in Gunnedah.
If you read that article you will see that I said 'I wanted to scream at the radio'. I was on my way home from work and heard the Premier of NSW Wales saying all is well about water in the region of the mine.
How does he know that? He says because there are experts who said it is safe.
I have heard that for nearly 30 years and I know it is not. I imagine engineers in the Gulf of Mexico said it was safe to build an oil rig so deep it could not be fixed and now we have the destruction of an ecosystem, lives ruined and a 75 billion, let me say that again, 75 billion dollar clean up. Fishing industries destroyed, livelihoods destroyed and as President Obama recently said in his interview with Sir David Attenborough: 'what can we do to protect this little blue marble?'
When you think of our planet being small, it does means our leaders have to be more accountable for their actions and I certainly expect that of them. I have been so disheartened over these years and now, unless they say 'yes, we want you AKF to help us solve this problem', I will not just play their games.
It is one of the great things about getting older.
So where to next?
Next week, letters will go the federal politicians asking them to support the Koala Protection Act. I have asked them, yes or no. If they say no, then we will let you know via Act or Axe. If they say Yes, then we will ask the Koala Army to congratulate them.
Dr Kerlin is getting great advice from our legal team and the Koala Protection Act is looking better and better.
I can assure you that I am not going anywhere until I get that in place.
So, thank you as always for the tremendous support and before I go, I want to just draw your attention to an article in yesterday’s paper here in Brisbane.
This man was a former Minister for the Environment way, way back in 1995. This man went on TV and diminished me personally but more so the AKF. It was a terrifying experience. I was young and he encouraged many, even in the Koala world to believe I was not dedicated to my job.
In some respects this was great because I wanted to run. I was scared to death and I wanted to run from the exposure and the pain and suffering it caused my children, my Board and scared that it may have even diminished those that supported us at that time.
I did not run and I am proud of it. It made me braver.
When he finally left politics to join the church, I sent him a fax (do you remember those) and said 'enjoy your 30 pieces of silver'. I was terrified when I did it and my Board were furious with me. It was tabled in our Minutes.
Secretly then, I did not regret it and I certainly do not now.
Our political leaders have to be of the highest standard – the problems of this little blue marble are many and the Koalas are in their hands.
Thank you as always.