18 October 2016

Hello Koala Lovers,  

On Friday I wrote to the Premier of Queensland and also the Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy

The Queensland Minister for the Environment, Mr. Steven Miles has asked for submissions regarding Koala conservation in South East Queensland, the deadline for which is Friday, October 21st.

For regular readers of my Diary, you will know that he was the Minister who admitted (only after a freedom of information request) that the Koalas in South East Queensland were now functionally extinct. That means that they are probably beyond viable recovery.

I have made it clear to the Premier that AKF will not be submitting to Minister Miles’ survey because I feel that the whole process is a smokescreen.

Why do I think that?   Because in recent times, I have had a call from a developer who let me know that the Queensland Government has already decided on which parts of the region are to be developed.  “Blue” overlays which indicate areas designated for development on maps have been overlaid on what I know to be some of the most important Koala habitat in the region, and those maps have been produced by two other Departments, none of which work in conjunction with Minister Miles.

My letter to the Premier was very frank and I would prefer to give her a right of reply before I make it public.

I have also asked and expect a meeting with the new Federal Environment Minister and I ask you to email him to say that you think he should meet with the AKF to discuss Koala conservation.

I have, of course offered the Premier our cooperation with anything that would work towards saving Koala habitat, but if my intelligence is correct and that there are now secret maps (that will not be released until well after this Friday the 21st deadline), then I will not participate in a process that only seeks to diminish and manipulate the good people of Queensland.

It even begs the question: does Minister Miles know of these secret maps?    

I have asked the Premier to ensure that the secret maps (if they exist) are brought into the public domain so that any submission the AKF does produce will be borne on fact. If I ever question the power of the AKF’s Koala Habitat Atlas maps, I now know that is why AKF has been ignored in this process. It would be far too definitive to have good maps in the room. 

 

Now to some good news.  I had this photo sent to me over the weekend and the person was worried that this dear little Koala would be hurt by the lights.  I really don’t know the answer scientifically, but I figure if she found this tree (which I know is in the middle of a roundabout and on quite a busy street), the lights are probably the least of her problems.

What the photo made me feel though is how resilient Koalas can be.  I know exactly where this dear little healthy creature is and I also know that people in the region believe the Koalas have no hope.

There is always hope and with Christmas coming, this little Koala has given me hope and is helping me to think of the goodwill of all men and women at Christmas time.

Goodness knows the world needs more of that at this time. 

Please consider supporting the AKF via our Christmas catalogue – think of this dear Koala when you do.  She has made my day.  I am sure she is a girl!

 

My team and I are committed to enacting a Koala Protection Act and when I get that meeting with Minister Frydenberg, that will be the only agenda item.

As I wrote to the Premier, I so tire of the games of Government.

 

Regards,

Deborah