July 2009

I recently read 700 post mortems of koala which articulated their cause of death. I keep that document on my desk so I never forget what the AKF is about. Many of the reports had the word “wasted” and they appear to have starved to death, or worse still been so sick that they were malnourished.  After  reading  them  all,  I

wondered how in earth can this beautiful creature with so much to offer our country be treated in this way?

I also read as you know a scientific document that basically says the Koala Coast population is going to extinction. There is much about this in my diary previously, so I rang both Premier Bligh’s office and also the Federal Environment Minister, Mr. Peter Garrett’s office and asked their advisors, “does your boss understand the word “extinction” – “does she/he really understand what that means?” They assured me they do. By the way, their advisors are not always friendly when I ring - and I suspect they might say the same about me. They are hard questions to pose and if they are doing their job, they obviously feel they have to protect their Minister. But if I was them, I do not think I would be so difficult with an organisation that has spent so many years diligently funding research and trying to help our Governments deal with the complex issues of koala conservation and the preservation of land.

It seems - perhaps because our country is growing fast and there is so much money to be made – that our bureaucrats are under immense pressure to spin stories that make us all feel that things are OK. The AKF constantly brings it to their attention that it is not OK. We are not alone in this.

This week, I watched a TV program called Australian Story. It was re-visiting a story about a man called Peter Andrews who has techniques that helps to restore Australia’s badly damaged landscape using an unusual but a really commonsense approach. What it also showed is that the bureaucrats in many many Departments have just stymied him day in and day out. His frustration was palpable. I share that frustration and after twenty two years, like him, I will not give up.

Al Gore was in Australia yesterday and he said that we all know what we have to do to protect the planet, what we lack is political will. I see this everyday and to be frank, it has never been so bad as it is now.

I would encourage you to keep an eye on this blog and the Koala Campaigners. In fact, please join and make a difference by writing to our politicians, no matter where you live in the world. The koala is of global significance and I sometimes think Australians forget that.

I will be encouraging you to write to our political leaders more and more and share with them your concerns for the koala and our planet. It seems so logical to me to protect the koala forest and trees. How many other species could be protected along with them?

I have just written some letters to the Premier here in Queensland about her disgraceful lack of protection of the koalas. Those letters can be read here.

We have also now nominated the Koala Coast population as ‘Endangered’ under Queensland law as well as Federal Government law. Our politicians have no excuse not to protect the koala now.