I have just written to the Shadow Minister for the Environment Mr Greg Hunt asking him to question Minister Burke about his non-decision on the koala listing.
At this stage there is nothing to do but wait, and I am hoping you will all continue to write to the Minister and continue to encourage
him to take the precautionary approach and list the koala as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act.
While ever a Federal listing does not apply, it makes it almost impossible for you to win any local battles so I would encourage you and your networks to really think it through and continue to push for this Federal protection.
Last Saturday I went on a koala count on Stradbroke Island here in Queensland and it was fantastic to see locals and tourists alike looking in trees, often in suburban areas, for signs of koalas. The good news is that there were two more counted than last year (even though there has been 20 deaths in the last year). This makes a grand total of 28, which is great news. That said, we must not forget that 28 koalas are extremely vulnerable and by and large this represents the same thing that is going on all over the country. Small numbers of koalas in small isolated areas.
The Premier of Queensland Ms Anna Bligh and her Environment Minister Kate Jones have both completely ignored the nomination by the AKF to list the Koala Coast population as Critically Endangered under the Nature Conservation Act. It would be good if Redland Council could encourage the Minister to get on to that listing. It is nearly two years since we nominated the koala, and of course the federal nomination also languishes. It makes you completely lose faith in the system doesn’t it?
At the beginning of the year I said to everyone that I wanted my year to consist of 'words and actions matching’, and in recent times I have noted that practically every Government Department who works with koalas talks big, writes lots of documents, but actually in reality, do not practice what they preach. There is no matching action.
Luckily there are so many of you who continue to be vigilant sending in sightings and photos, and I have great delight sending that information to either the Director General’s or the Minister’s advisors. It must be embarrassing for them to have their Department look so inadequate. And they are!
Quinlans: There is a new video on our website which shows how the place is looking, and I will be up there next week getting ready for an international group coming to stay the week before Christmas. Conservation Volunteers Australia and the AKF will be forming a formal partnership about Quinlans so it can be a showcase for sustainability, research and community participation. It fills me with joy to go there and I know the local community are loving having us there. Our Open Day was filled with enthusiasm and we decided that anyone who comes to Quinlans needs to leave it a little better than when they found it.
We had offers for plumbing, weed reduction, doors, all manner of things. It is terrific. We urgently need an industrial stove if we are going to feed all these people. Perhaps you know of someone in the Brisbane area that might have a second-hand one? It must be gas. New ones are around $2000. Anything you can do for Quinlans would be greatly appreciated - please click here to see how you can help.
And finally, Mr Darcy: I was recently in the bush and I heard people talk about how much they hate dogs. Hate is such a strong word and I realised that I have been a closet dog lover for a long time. Everyone who knows me knows that I have Golden Retrievers, the gentlest souls on the planet, and although I could never say never, my dogs have never killed anything. That is because they are trained, put to bed early and have plenty of love and attention. Mr Darcy is going to be an inspiration to all dog lovers and owners to be a responsible pet owner. We all have to learn to live together. Click here to see gorgeous pictures and a video of Mr Darcy, and read his diary!