Koala Woman Says
This electorate borders the Murray River, and the main Koala food tree is the River Red Gum, but there isn't much of it left. Beginning in the 1850s paddle-steamers began plying their trade, and you can guess what they used for fuel! There have been 50 Koala records since 2000, all between Echuca and Tocumwal where the last of the mighty Red Gum forests are protected in Barmah State Park. No, wait a minute, that's in Victoria! The only Red Gum forests on the NSW side were State Forests, and were converted to National Park in 2010 after 160 years of logging. River Reds need a flood for the seeds to germinate and there are plenty of myths that suggest River Reds are dying because of too much water; this is just not the case. All river/riparian areas are under threat from lack of water particularly since this last drought and from too much irrigation water being taken from the system.
This electorate now includes the Griffith area where there are no Koalas. Koalas were introduced to a Reserve in Narrandera in 1972, the population increased to 70 a few years ago and became quite a tourist attraction but only 18 were spotted in the 2013 annual Koala count. This population is on its way to extinction unless there is a greater understanding of what is going on. Habitat isolation? Drought? Heat waves? Climate change? The whole is greater than the sum of the parts, bound together by Government inaction.
Member for Farrer
Will she Act or Axe?
Estimated AKF Koala Population: 60-100
Estimated Koala Habitat left: 22.7%
Estimated Federal Government Population: No data. No opinion.
Listed as vulnerable to extinction under the EPBC Act (May 2012)