March 2009

I hear that Minister Garrett was absolutely fabulous when he sang at the Fire Concert and that he continued to sing the "anthems" about protecting the environ-ment. Now we want him to be equally fabulous and ask  the Queensland Govern-ment for a document that is needed for our Nomination  Form  to  have  the koala listed

as vulnerable or Endangered under the EPBC Act (the Federal law that may be capable of protecting the koala, but interesting enough may be limited in protecting its habitat). 

That is another story for the moment and hopefully over time I can tell you how pathetic I think Australia’s environmental laws are. Just a quick thing  about it  - although land clearing is called a "threatening process" under this Act, the reality is that that "threatening process", does not "trigger" the Act into action.   This basically means you have to ask the Minister to trigger the Act in each instance, the fact that trees are cut down doesn't cut it.  Isn't that ridiculous and so lacking in common sense?

Anyway, the koala is listed as vulnerable in South East Queensland and now we have to prove that the tiny population living on the Koala Coast is genetically distinct.    We now know that there is a scientific paper which proves this - so we can include that with the nomination form - but the Queensland Government is withholding the really important document that might and should prove that the koala declines are far worse than we even thought.   

Read the nomination form (pdf file 2mb) and also our letter to the Australian Government (pdf file)

I have written to Minister Garrett and asked him, in his role as custodian of the koala, to insist that the Queensland Government hands that document over.  If he gets it, then we will ask him to upgrade our nomination form to ask for Endangered.

I know this all sounds like a lot of political speak and let me tell you, it has taken me over twenty years to understand this process and I am of the opinion that this is why the environment is in such a dreadful state. It is truly pathetic - that is the only word I can use.    It seems to me that all environmental laws in our country have been basically written so you can never meet the criteria so that the system can roll over it.   Read my Bulldozer of Process article - which articulates this.

Anyway, I love being able to write this diary so that I can try and explain why I think our organisation is so needed.  If we were not here, doing this - I do not think the koala and its habitat would have a future.   You, as a member and supporter allow me to do this and I truly thank you.

Yours sincerely, Deborah