Koala Woman Says
This electorate needs covers about half of the Strathbogie plateau which the Victorian Government estimates has tens of thousands of koalas. At least with outside scrutiny they have reduced their 1995 estimate of 180,000 Koalas. We have repeatedly asked the Victorian Government for their scientific data, we have mapped the Strathbogies extensively, and they have never replied to our request, even during a Senate Inquiry. In the Melbourne hearing of the Senate Inquiry I watched as Victorian Government scientist counted koalas on their fingers for the Senators. It appeared very unscientific at the time.
Elsewhere this electorate has been extensively cleared for agriculture and the other main Koala populations are along the Murray River at Cobram in the Barmah Forest and at Nagambie on the Goulburn River. The AKF has done some research here in a vineyard surrounded by significant koala habitat, and the eucalypts are already showing damage as a result of climate change. Some researchers suggest that if the climate does increase in temperature in as little as 30 years koalas won’t be able to eat those trees because of chemical changes in those trees.
Member for Murray
Will he Act or Axe?
Estimated AKF Koala Population: 2500-5000
Estimated Koala Habitat left: 30.1%
Estimated Federal Government Population: 20,000-35,000
The Victorian Government opposed the protection of the koala and there is no Federal protective legislation in place.