January 2010

Hi, and welcome to my first diary for 2010. I have been back in the chair for a week now and it has been a bit of a struggle after too many days of just being able to relax. As the week went on I got back into the swing, and of course all the same old issues kept coming up. People from all over  Australia  telling  me  about   habitats

that are going down. One fellow even rang me from a telephone box, quite desperate, telling me that habitat was being cleared for a new section of a coal mine. And then a woman from New South Wales rang telling me the same thing.

So, OK. We all went to Copenhagen because the world is saying there has to be a new way. We all went to Copenhagen hoping that we could find a new way of having an economy, creating jobs and going green, so why all the coal exports? Perhaps this is why the koala is having so much trouble being listed. Minister Garrett is saying that he will not make a decision until September 2010 and that he is going to be thorough and robust in his decisions. If you read my latest letter to him, I think you will see that AKF believes he and his Committee are light-years away from that – just like Prime Minister Rudd is light-years away from committing Australia to lesser emissions targets.

I asked our scientist to give me the latest evaluation on the Copenhagen process, and this is what he said: “Interestingly, Australia is deemed to have signed up. My impression is that they have signed up under their proposed reductions from when Prime Minister Rudd got in to power, so we are talking an 8% increase between 2008-2012, then a reduction to 71% of 1990 levels by 2017, and 51% of 1990 levels by 2022... Which leaves a fair chunk to get to 5% by 2050”.

So I think this means that basically everything is going to stay the same, so why did we all go?

That said, I am delighted I did go because it made me realise that all we can do really, is take care of our own patch and be an inspiration to others that need our help. I met amazing ordinary everyday people trying their best to be heard, and it has made me more determined to be heard, and more importantly, to encourage all of you to work together so we can tell our Governments want we want for the future of our country and our world.

I know what I learnt in Copenhagen. That each of us needs fresh air, fresh and clean water, good arable land, heating and cooling for our homes, and a safe and wonderful environment for our families to grow up.

So many people I met in Copenhagen have none of that, and I do feel we are losing this too.

This year there is going to be a Federal election and I honestly think our Prime Minister needs to have a reality check about what we are all thinking. If I am reading the people who contact us correctly, then we are tired of good arable land being destroyed for developments that have no social cohesion and structure. We are sick and tired of roads that are gridlocked. We are sick of our land being destroyed for coal and the royalties for profit (you will hear a lot more of this in the coming months).

And finally that we are just sick of seeing koalas killed by dogs, cars, disease and worse still, shot like little Doug and his mother - shot by someone who has not learnt the lessons of life; to be kind to each other and animals.

I feel more dedicated than ever and I look forward to getting your feedback about what the AKF might be able to achieve for the koala in 2010.

Fond regards, Deborah