Author Archives: AWPC

$1M Wildlife Carer Fund rorted by NSW government:

NSW-govt-rorts-carers-fund-may2020

80% redirected to other programs — only 20% paid to wildlife carers.

THE NSW LABOR Opposition has disclosed that the state government’s much-hyped million dollar fund for wildlife carers in bushfire-affected regions has been rorted by the government itself, with only 22 percent of the money being paid to wildlife carers.

At least half of the Wildlife Carers Bushfire Fund has already been redirected to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to fund other programs, including $62,000 on mapping exercises and $438,000 on two new staff positions within the Department to oversee wildlife rehabilitators.

The NSW Labor Opposition has called for the full funds to be reinstated and given to wildlife carers as promised.

When the fund was announced — to much fanfare — the Environment Minister Matt Kean’s claimed that “the funding will help wildlife rehabilitators respond and prepare for natural emergencies. Community rehabilitation groups and the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife will be able to access the funds.”

However, answers provided by the Minister to supplementary budget estimates questions reveal that only $220,000 has been paid to wildlife rehabilitators, with $500,000 spent internally and the remaining $280,000 unspent, six months later.

According to the Minister, the remaining funds will now be allocated towards repairing damaged infrastructure and will not be given to wildlife carers.

“The Government has been caught red-handed rorting their own wildlife carer fund,” Labor’s environment spokesperson, Kate Washington, said.

“This money was meant to go into the hands of our incredible wildlife carers to help keep injured animals alive. Instead, the Government stole 80 percent of the funds, and only a fraction of the money made its way to actual wildlife carers. It’s reprehensible.”

“Some entire regions ravaged by bushfires only received $3,000 from this fund, like the Blue Mountains and the New England region. Meanwhile, $500,000 was sneakily redirected back to the Department itself.”

“Koala mapping is important, of course, and so is oversight. But if you promise one million dollars for wildlife carers, you should deliver on that promise. The government shouldn’t steal half the money to pay itself, and then redirect the rest to other programs.”

“Matt Kean should hang his head in shame for giving false hope to the hard-working volunteers who are still struggling to keep injured animals and ecosystems alive.”

“The Environment Department already has staff who liaise with and oversee wildlife carers. They were already doing environmental mapping following the bushfires. Why does the government need to steal 80 percent of this fund to cover its day-to-day work?”

“This Minister loves a cute and cuddly headline, but when push comes to shove, and when the media attention wanes, Matt Kean has quietly cut and run with the money.”

“Wildlife carers are amazing, their work is hard and heartbreaking — they deserve the support they were promised,” concluded Ms Washington.

IMAGERY SOURCE: Wildcarers NSW

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Want to help? One way — sign a petition.

greater-glider-petition-image-credit-Hans-and-Judy-Beste

Halt the Extinction of the Greater Glider

Australian Scientists have known that the magical and beautiful Greater Glider was on its way to extinction. Its been called a cross between a flying Koala and a Possum. In Conjola National Park NSW and the surrounding forests they were making a comeback. It had taken over 20 years. That was until the extinction event of the East Coast Bushfires 2019. Especially the Currowan Fire. IMAGE: Hans and Judy Beste.

Petition: Halt the Extinction of the Greater Glider

change.org

 


koala-petition-get-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protect our Koalas

Our koalas were devastated during the fires. Now logging might cost them what little habitat they have left. Can you sign the petition demanding the NSW Government take action now?

Petition: Protect our Koalas

www.getup.org.au


Toxic poison including 1080 is used to kill Dingoes

Sign the Change.org petition #BAN1080
AGAINST 1080 THAT HAS ALREADY GARNERED 28,000+ SIGNATURES

     — and PASS IT ON.


UPDATE: Save Mt Lofty Koala Habitat
(Toowoomba, Qld)

It’s not quite over yet folks, stay tuned.

> View original story here.


Close all Wildlife Trading Markets Globally

The COVID-19 pandemic is thought to have emerged from a wet market for wildlife in Wuhan, China. If so this cruel and dangerous trade is culpable for millions getting sick and dying, workers losing their jobs and businesses going broke.

Click on heading below to link to more petition information.

Petition: Close all Wildlife Trading Markets Globally

change.org


Stop Kangaroo Cruelty in NSW!

This petition was started by the AWPC in 2019 to appeal to the NSW Government and Opposition andis now appealing to the NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean and the Premier Gladys Berejiklian to stop the practice of widespread, unmonitored shooting of kangaroos to please farmers. This is continuing despite the bushfires that have killed hundreds of millions of NSW’s native animals, with remaining populations uncertain.

    > Read more here.

Sign the petition here.
change.org


 

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MAKE A SUBMISSION (by 17 April): to the Review of National Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act

AWPC-editorial-Jan2020-v3

DEADLINE 17 APRIL:

Numbers count! However briefly, make your voices heard on behalf of a much better EPBC ACT than has currently been in place.

The ACT now is vague enough to allow ministerial interference and opinions on behalf of economic interests to trump ecological and wildlife interests. Note: the review invites arguments for self-regulation and cutting ‘green tape’.

Argue our wildlife and ecosystems need clearly-stated regulatory protection now more than ever.

AUSTRALIA’S TERRESTRIAL BIODIVERSITY IS IN CRISIS. THE CONTINENT’S UNIQUE WILDLIFE IS EXTINCT OR HEADING THERE AT WORLD-BEATING RATES.

The statutory review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) commenced on 29 October 2019. Professor Graeme Samuel AC has been appointed as the independent reviewer. The AWPC is making a joint submission with the Animal Protectors Alliance.

Submissions are due on 17 April 2020. 

LINK TO:
EPBC Act Review: Make a submission on the discussion paper

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These poems say it better than any other words can

And are just as relevant today as 20 years ago.

The Manhood Test

You often hear them bragging that they’re handy with a gun
But their IQs are so low that they shoot animals for fun.
And they probably feel heroic when they move in for the kill
Against an animal that’s defenceless and quite likely to stand still.

But if kangaroos carried rifles and could shoot with deadly aim
Do you think these jerks who hunt them now would ever be so game?
Would these losers still use spotlights when they’re hunting in the night
Against a creature armed and dangerous, and spoiling for a fight?

NO! Their numbers would diminish like the darkness at first light
For it takes a lot of courage when you have to stand and fight.
And history shows these sadists who shoot animals for thrill,
Are complete and utter cowards when it’s THEY that might be killed.

So if YOU are a shooter and your manhood is in doubt,
Why don’t you join the Army where they’re sure to sort it out?
And when you hear the bullets humming and you know they’re meant for you,
Spare a thought as you are running for the poor old kangaroo.

— Bill Charlton, 2005

 


And Let the Future Mourn

[Sung to tune of Advance Australia Fair]

Australians all, let’s celebrate
Our wealth of life and land.
We’ve stripped and shot and burned a lot,
But still, what’s left is grand!
We must exploit our creatures here,
So strange and rich and rare!
They’re pests you know, let’s make some dough —
There’s plenty here to spare!
They’re pests you know, let’s make some dough —
There’s plenty here to spare!

We’ve stripped the trees across the land
To grow our wool and wheat.
We know it just turns soil to dust,
But debts we have to meet.
Disease we spread all others dread
’Cause we’re unique you know!
When bilbies die of RCD
We’ll just deny it’s so!
When bilbies die of RCD
We’ll just deny it’s so!

Our land abounds in kangaroos
Our farmers love to blame.
We let them kill each year five mill. —
Just one more national shame!
So let’s exploit our creatures here,
Both new and native born!
We’ll eat them all, or sell them all,
And let the future mourn!
We’ll eat them all, or sell them all,
And let the future mourn!

— Frankie Seymour, 1999

 


— WHEN —

When our forests are depleted
And the eucalypts have gone,
When koalas do not have a tree
Or leaves to feed upon.

When the kangaroo is history,
And the emu just a word.
The wombat just a fable
And the crow an extinct bird.

When all these things have left us,
What will it be like then?
Just a bare and open desert,
Filled with thoughtless greedv men.

And what will be the emblem
Of this pride of hungry lions?
Perhaps crossed rifles and an axe,
Beside a row of dollar signs!

And in the future, will the children
Just find kangaroos in books.
And koalas in museums
In some dark and dusty nook.

Forget about the forests,
For they will be long gone.
And so will all the loggers,
Though their legacy will live on.

A legacy of barren land,
0f grassless, treeless plains.
Where dust and empty solitude
Are all that will remain.

Why can’t we live in yesterday,
When the kangaroo roamed free.
Where emus graced our native land,
And koalas climbed in trees.

— Bill Charlton, 2005

 

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Visitors, new residents love Skippy and all our unique wildlife. Do we?

tourist-feeding-wallaby-ValeriiaMiller-Pexels

A RECENTLY-ARRIVED Australian resident and writer, Elle Hunt, wrote a compelling article in January expressing how people from around the world love and value Australian wildlife.

The horror of our wildlife’s suffering in the recent bushfires, was the immediate impetus for her story. But it raises good questions for Australians.

In the Bush Capital, Canberra, the authorities have waged a decade-long killing program against ‘Skippy’ under various excuses. In Victoria and South Australia, kangaroo pest and killing narratives are pushing the benefits of the commercial skin and meat trade. Exploiting native wildlife for export trades has long been a policy of the federal government.

Is it not in our interests, (economic and moral) to start respecting and valuing our unique wildlife as our international visitors do?

Here is an excerpt from Elle’s story posted in The Guardian.

Their bodies lie piled up by the side of the road, barely visible through the ochre haze: dozens, maybe hundreds of kangaroos that tried to outrun the flames and perished, in their droves, in the attempt. The scene, filmed from a car on the way to Batlow, New South Wales, resembles a battlefield after a bungled campaign: wildlife versus wildfire, and the victor is abundantly clear.

Australia is burning. At least 23 people have died since October and with much of the continent still ablaze, despite the fact bushfire season is not expected to peak until February, that number is likely to climb. The scale of the devastation — entire towns wiped out, thousands sheltering on the beach to await military evacuation by sea — is hard to overestimate.

But to the rest of the world looking on in horror, among the most ghastly images are those showing the toll on Australia’s native wildlife. A kangaroo, backlit by flames. A dead joey, charred and still clinging to the fence that it ran up against. Battered koalas, battling serious burns — these are the faces put forward in appeals, poster critters of a nation gripped by emergency.

The power of these images speaks to the hold of Australian wildlife on our collective imagination. If you know nothing else about Australia — if you wouldn’t know Ramsay Street without the street sign — you know Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. Same with a koala, platypus, dingo, echidna, kookaburra, wombat, possum, emu, saltwater croc — take your pick.

Even if a visit to Australia is just an “if we win the Lotto” entry on your bucket list, its fauna is instantly recognisable, symbolic of a wild and ancient continent truly unlike any other on Earth. But one of the many ways in which Australia is special is that if you do go there, you’ll actually see these species.

Excerpt from:
Elle Hunt The world loves kangaroos and koalas.  Now we are watching them die in droves. The Guardian, 7 January 2020.

As of March 2020 this article had over 2,000 shares and 259 comments.

IMAGE: Tourists flock to wildlife parks to feed our native animals. (Valeriia Miller, Pexels)

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UPDATE: Save Mt Lofty (koala habitat) Toowoomba, Qld.

save-Mt-Lofty-petition

It’s not quite over yet folks, stay tuned

I’m Penny and I wrote the Mt Lofty koala petition — thank you for sharing it. In response to your query, this is the story!

What happened:

DHA said that they had withdrawn their Masterplan for 342 houses.

This turned out to be sort-of true.

They have ditched the big development, but they did not withdraw their plan. They have kept it current under the same development assessment number. This means that they can submit a new plan without going to the public and submissions are disallowed.

We have approached council re[garding] this and asked that any new plans must be go out to submission.

However, DHA has stated that they will put forward a much smaller development and that they won’t clear all/most of the critical koala habitat. So yes, it is a win. But it also depends what they do next … so we are keeping a good eye on them!

— Cheers, Penny. 16 April 2020


UPDATE: Toowoomba koala habitat Mt Lofty

A big hello to all our wonderful supporters!

Mt-Lofty-reprieve-Feb2020Today we woke up to this headline on the front cover of our local paper: DHA Ditches Mt. Lofty Plan. 

342 houses will no longer be built on this precious land. There is still some way to go on this, as all this really means is that the original plan has been withdrawn. It remains to be seen what will emerge in its place. However, it’s a win and we are celebrating (we like to think the koalas are too, in their own secret way).

This petition shone a light onto our little neck of the woods, onto our koalas, onto our beautiful forested land with its creeks and waterfall, with its mists and endless views. We could NOT have done this without all the people, from all around our bruised planet, who cared enough to support us.

Let’s take strength from this and keep on fighting. Lets show the greedy, the thoughtless, the uncaring and powerful that we mean business. We fight. We don’t stop.

THANK YOU!

— The Save Mt. Lofty Inc Team, 21 February 2020


Petition to local council, ask state and federal officials to say NO.

Mount Lofty is a very special place, right on the edge of the Toowoomba Escarpment. It’s a place of forests, permanent springs and Toowoomba’s only waterfall.

We, the Mt. Lofty community, see and hear koalas here all the time. Malcolm and Belle have a special place in our hearts because they’re breeding right now. We want to see little baby koalas here. Australia needs that to happen very, very badly.

It’s not just koalas either. There are lots of other animals here too, such as echidnas, wallabies, kangaroos, goannas, small mammals, bats, reptiles and frogs. The bird life is amazing.

But that’s about to change.

This land has escaped the developers only because it’s an ex-Rifle Range and has been owned by the Department of Defence for over 100 years.

But now our Federal government wants to clear all the land that’s flat enough to build on, including 38 hectares (that’s 76 football fields) of Critical Koala Habitat. They’ll bulldoze the forest and cram the bare dirt with 342 houses and villas, on blocks down to 300m2.

Few of these houses are for the Defence force. An independent consultant says most of them will go to investors and second home-owners.

They even want their own special planning code so they can get away with it.

It’s not too late though!

Right now, the Toowoomba Regional Councillors have this application sitting on their desks. They have the environmental grounds in the planning code to reject this development and save the koalas, and all the animals, on this land.

The community has been fighting this for over two years now. Time is running out — the decision could come any time within the next few months.

Please tell the people doing this that we just cannot keep on this way. We have lost over a billion animals in the fires. Koalas are slow and many of them were burned to death.

We cannot afford to lose more animals, especially when this land was never paid for and doesn’t have to be destroyed for one-off financial gain.


MORE INFORMATION; PETITION HERE

 

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