25 July 2016

Hello Koala Lovers,

Our Federal Government has now been finalised and the AKF has some ideas on who we will be dealing with for the next 3 years. All I hope is that they will want to help the Koala. 

Although our Prime Minister says he has a clear mandate to rule, his hold on power is very tenuous and it is clear that the Australian people are in charge.   Matilda and I are both happy about that fact.  

I am so proud of our democratic system and I believe our elected officials will have to “listen” to their constituents more and more if they want to stay in power.

In the coming week, AKF will write to all elected officials in Koala habitat and ask them, yet again, “Will you support a Koala Protection Act?”. We request a Yes or a No. Their response will be placed on Act or Axe

As you know, all four leaders did not sign a statutory declaration prior to the election which would have shown their support for a Koala Protection Act. Although disappointing, we cannot be deluded that our governments are not prepared to commit to Koala protection. Why – that is really the question. 

Koalas and their habitat should be a consideration of all members of Parliament and of course it is impossible to ignore that the environment was not even a key issue with either major party during the election - just jobs and growth. How can anyone on this planet not realise that this cannot be assured unless you have a secure and safe climate and environment?

On my trip around Australia with Matilda, I saw many things. One thing that disturbed me was the scientific predictions about tree deaths tied to anticipated climatic changes in the western part of New South Wales. It has been forecast that several tree species will not do well under the new climatic conditions. AKF had predicted 2030 for these changes and their effects to begin taking place, but I saw it happening now. The following image touches on this issue by showing some predicted temperature changes from now to 2050: the climate in Narrandera (Southern New South Wales) is expected to shift to be more like the climate of towns such as Ivanhoe and Wilcannia, 325 km and 50km away respectively. It made me wonder whether we are going to experience these changes earlier than predicted if those dead trees were an indication of how the land is changing.   

I did gain some inspiration as I drove around because I could see that the AKF has the science and the commitment to be involved and perhaps even lead the recovery of the habitats of Australia. I see no other organisation leading the way and, worse still, the former Minister for the Environment Mr. Hunt has not left the new Minister with a Koala Recovery Plan which was supposed to be finished in 2014.
 
We will of course be writing to the new Minister for Environment, Mr. Josh Frydenberg. We are hoping that he will have an open mind on what we believe to be the way forward for the Koala.  It is interesting that his portfolio is now conjoined with Energy. It is uncertain whether this can result in a better environment unless there is a lot of new thinking.    
 
As always, AKF could not do it without you all and a donation, large or small, is always appreciated.
 
It is clear that having no government funding allows us to speak freely.
 

Matilda, Mr. Darcy, and of course the head of the Koala Army, Urban send our thanks to you for your voices, which I am confident were heard during our recent election.

Now the work really begins.

Deborah