‘Fundamental failure’: Environment Department not protecting koala habitat
By Mike Foley, The Sydney Morning Herald.
Only 10 percent of the koala habitat cleared in NSW and Queensland between 2012 and 2017 was assessed by the federal government, despite national environment law requiring protection for threatened species.
KOALAS WERE LISTED as a vulnerable species in 2012 and of the 160,000 hectares of known and likely habitat cleared up to 2017, 90 percent was not reviewed by the federal government for its impact to the species. The new figures are revealed in an analysis of government development approval registers by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).
SEEN ABOVE: Koala displaced by habitat loss, Leard State Forest, NSW. Image Maria Taylor, District Bulletin March 2016.
Significant challenges confront koalas after last summer’s bushfires. Environment Minister Sussan Ley warned earlier this year that their status in some areas of their range may be upgraded to endangered. But since the species was listed as threatened, there has not been one enforcement action taken by the federal government against unapproved clearing of habitat.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act requires the federal government to assess developments which could impact the health of threatened species, as well as World Heritage areas.
In a submission to the Victorian government the AWPC have formulated a number of recommendations:
The Building Blocks of Extinction and Biodiversity Loss in Victoria
Australian Wildlife Protection Council submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the extinction crisis in Victoria.