Category Archives: land clearing

Koala habitat being cleared, mined and “developed”, with impotent environmental protection laws

Almost all the Australians are aware of the Koalas existence and they associate Koalas as one of the most native animals. We consider Koalas to be one of the national symbols of Australia, along with Kangaroos.  They are iconic animals.

The koala is featured in the Dreamtime stories and mythology of indigenous Australians. The Tharawal people believed that the animal helped row the boat that brought them to the continent.  In 2012, the Australian government listed koala populations in Queensland and New South Wales as Vulnerable, because of a 40% population decline in the former and a 33% decline in the latter.  In this light, protection of koala habitats should have been UPGRADED, not loosened!

Now, it seems that koalas in Queensland are simply “green tape” prohibiting the advancement of industries on their land!

The koala’s territory is getting smaller because people are cutting down trees and making farms on them.

A gas company has been given federal approval to clear 54 hectares of critical koala habitat for new coal seam gas wells on Queensland’s Western Downs.

QGC, which is owned by Shell, applied to drill 25 new wells near Dalby as part of project Anya. Four Corners reveals how several leading vets and wildlife organisations say high-rise developments up and down the eastern coastline are culling the koala population.

“While the identified koala habitat values within [the site] is considered to be in good condition, the very low density of koalas combined with large home ranges within a geographically extensive intact remnant, will result in “no significant impact”,” the report read.


(image: CC BY-SA 3.0,

Wilderness Society Queensland Campaign Manager Gemma Plesman said: “It’s outrageous that the [Malcolm] Turnbull Government would approve clearing more of their habitat when it is a threatened species supposedly protected by Federal law.

“Koala populations in south-east Queensland are feeling the crunch. Their homes are being torn up from urban development, industrial scale agriculture and, as we’re seeing here, mining.”

Ms Tabart Chief Executive of the Koala Foundation said the federal environmental act had failed koalas in Queensland.  Numbers of the iconic animal have been depleted in Queensland in recent years in large part due to lax land clearing laws and little government oversight to protect habitats.  Australia Koala Foundation chief executive Deborah Tabart described koalas in the region of southeast Queensland as “functionally extinct” and said the whole system of wildlife protection was broken.

“The Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act in my view has been a complete waste of time to protect koala habitat,” she said.

“An area of 187 hectares within QGC’s biodiversity property in central Queensland will be set aside to offset any potential loss of habitat.” But Ms Tabart said that was pointless.

“You get up to 70 and 80 per cent mortality once you move animals away from their homes,” she said.  You can’t just “offset” habitat. 

Under pressure from big business Federal, State and Territory governments are moving forward with an aggressive plan to wind back our environmental protection laws. By cutting ‘green tape’, handing important federal approval powers to the states, and fast tracking approvals for large development, federal protection for our most special places and wildlife will be removed, and mining and other destructive development in our forests, woodlands and along our coasts will be accelerated.



In another attack on our native icons, koalas,a Chinese property developer closely connected to a mayor in southeast Queensland has secured approvals to build a $750 million resort in a koala habitat that the state government has said it will not oppose.  Why are foreigners able to “develop” our land, anyway? Would Australians be building a resort over Panda habitat?

The above approval by Logan council, which is expected to deliver massive windfalls to developer Liansheng Yue after he bought the farmland for $843,000 in 2009, was granted despite 28 of 29 public submissions received by council opposed to the project.  What’s windfall for the developer, is a permanent tragedy our nation, being cleared of native animals.

Koalas are facing death by a thousand cuts, and legislation that protects big businesses and corporations, just obliterating any environmental laws that protect our native animals. Where is our “Environment” Minister, and environmental protection laws? They don’t exist if they can just be over-ridden.

Unless we stop the bulldozers, the koala will go extinct in Queensland.  Extinction is a process, not an event.  Australia’s reputation as being famous for fast-tracked native animal extinctions must end.



This was sent via email to Dr Steven Miles is the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef.  Steven has a PhD in Political Science and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Journalism from the University of Queensland.  Note: NO environmental, ecological or zoology credentials at all!


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Koalas could soon be wiped out in areas of Queensland and NSW – are you going to do something?

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP
Minister for the Environment and Energy
Parliament House

Dear Minister Frydenberg,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council.

WWF works to conserve Australia’s plants and animals, by ending land clearing, addressing climate change, and preserving and protecting our fresh water, marine and land environments. WWF has over 80,000 supporters, and active projects in Australia and the Oceania region. We are very concerned by the much-loved and recognised koalas, as their numbers are in steep decline.

Koalas are under threat of being wiped out in parts of Queensland and New South Wales, conservation group WWF Australia has warned. (Koalas could soon be wiped out in areas of NSW and Queensland)

Dr Martin Taylor, (protected areas and conservation science manager at WWF Australia) said once the habitat had been redeveloped, that then brought in new threats to the koala, such as more cars, more dogs, “more accidents waiting to happen for koalas.”

Nowhere to go- Save Koalas

Numbers are down 53 per cent on average in Queensland, 26 per cent in NSW and in a pocket known as the Koala Coast, numbers have declined by 80 per cent over the past two decades.

Redeveloped koala habitat is now a euphemism for its vandalisation – environmental destruction of their food sources and life-support. Just how can this legal “redevelopment” be allowed, destroying the fabric our our environment and killing off our iconic native animals?

Tourism is worth a lot of income to Australia, and nobody wants to come to see generic urban sprawl, more and more roads and developments!

The group has warned of “localised extinctions” if more was not done to stop development encroaching on koala habitats. Australia as a leading world economy should be setting environmental and conservation standards, not be worse than a corrupt, out-of-control third world nation wrecking their natural environments and forcing native animals extinctions!

We would like to know exactly what is being done to protect koalas from dying slowly and horribly because of the greed of property developers, and the growth of human numbers in Queensland and NSW?

(Supplied: with permission of WWF Australia/Sue Gedda)

“Government has to bite the bullet and put in strong protections, not just for koalas but for all our wildlife,” Dr Taylor said. Extinction is not an event, but a process. Loss of habitat is a silver bullet for threatening their survival, and their demise.

“Government has to bite the bullet and put in strong protections, not just for koalas but for all our wildlife,” Dr Taylor said.

“The problem is there are so many get out of jail free cards for the all the industries that want to destroy habitats.”

So many permits for “development”, housing growth, etc, aka habitat destruction and violation of the rights of indigenous animals to exist.

Australia already has an abysmal reputation globally as a leading mammal exterminator, due to the ignorance and damage done by Colonialism and our early settlers. They were once paid to “clear the bush”. Haven’t we learned anything from the mistakes of the past – or are we still in a time-warp of the Colonial mentality?

We wait for your response as this is urgent, and we don’t want to be the generation responsible for the extinction and demise of our wonderful and endearing koalas in the wild in NSW and Queensland. Extensive and interconnecting wildlife corridors are urgently needed, before more lethal “developments”, and much better funded responses to emergencies, and support for wildlife carers. Responding in hindsight is just assuming the worst is inevitable!

Thank you and sincerely

AWPC secretary

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Magpies, kookaburras and willie wagtails among common Australian birds ‘starting to disappear’,

Magpies, laughing kookaburras and willie wagtails are on the decline in some regions, a report tracking the health of Australia’s bird populations has found.  Birdlife Australia, analysed data collected in more than 400,000 surveys across the country, the majority done by bird-loving volunteers.  The State of Australia’s Birds Report states that while predators including cats, habitat loss and even changes in climate might be to blame, more research was needed before certain species became endangered.  Habitat loss and changes are polite euphemisms for human destruction, such as land clearing and degradation for mining, logging, industries and urbanization!

(image: “Poser (543749091)” by aussiegall from Sydney, Australia – PoserUploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Sightings of kookaburras have decreased at a rate of 40 per cent across south-eastern Australia. Magpies have declined significantly on the east coast, a new report shows. The Eastern curlew, a migratory shorebird that has recently been declared critically endangered.

Editor of Australian Birdlife Sean Dooley said the decline of common birds in parts of Australia was a surprise to researchers.

Numbats, malas, bandicoots and bettongs are among the mammals the Federal Government’s identified in its new Threatened Species Strategy. The birds include the mallee emu-wren and Norfolk Island boobook owl.

The Environment Minister Greg Hunt says feral cats are a serious threat to native species and that he wants the feral animals eradicated from five islands and 10 mainland enclosures within five years. Hunt has also set a target of 10 new cat-free enclosures on mainland Australia by 2020.

Dr Euan Ritchie is with Deakin University. He wants native predators like dingoes and Tasmanian devils reintroduced, as a natural way of culling foxes and cats. This is an enlightened approach to the status of Dingoes that have been vilified and trapped over decades as a threat to livestock! He also wants Tasmanian devils back to the mainland.

Ms Jane Nathan says in The Age 16 July 2015 that Melbourne is headed for eight million by 2050, and goes on to describe what it will be like in the most wildly optimistic tones imaginable. She says “our social harmony, kaleidoscopic culture, clean food, innovative education systems and greatly reduced crime rates are the envy of the world. Our neighbourhoods are artistic, green and pristine”.

According to MP Kelvin Thomson, in the Federal seat of Wills, it “Sounds like paradise. The problem is, there is no evidence to support it…And as for green and pristine, just this week it was reported that even common Australian birds, like the Willy Wagtail and the Kookaburra, were being sighted much less frequently. The reason for this is that the streets of mature gardens that used to give our birds food and shelter have been replaced by multi-unit developments and high rise. The vegetation has been destroyed, and the birds have died out”.

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Media Release: Land Clearing wrecking our environment

Environment Minister Greg Hunt

Dear Greg

This week media reports have detailed the Federal Government’s approval for significant clearing of Critically Endangered woodlands in the Hunter Valley and lack of oversight on potentially illegal broad-scale clearing in Cape York, permitted by the former Queensland Government in direct contravention of national environment law.

The Federal Environment Department has just given mining company Coal and Allied the green light to clear 535 hectares of White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland, a Critically Endangered ecological community listed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

The community has been recognised as Critically Endangered since 2006, primarily due to a decline in geographic distribution, and since that time numerous developments have chipped away at what remains. Permitting a further 535 vital hectares to be cleared for a single project indicates the Government is loath to use its habitat protection powers effectively.

This is a unique and incredibly important ecosystem that has been absolutely smashed by development. More than 93% of the woodlands have been cleared since European settlement, yet the Commonwealth has justified the destruction of a further 535 hectares by requiring a biodiversity offset management plan and vegetation clearance protocols – simply inappropriate measures for Critically Endangered habitats,” said Humane Society International.

Similarly bad news has surfaced in Cape York, where clearing of 33,000 hectares of habitat for the buff-breasted button-quail (the only known Australian bird to have never been photographed in the wild) and at least 17 other threatened species listed under the EPBC Act was permitted in the dying days of the former Queensland Government.



The EPBC Act is not meant to be used in this farcical way – Maryland Wilson Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc.

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NSW guilty of koala habitat vandalism

Sent to:
Minister for Environment, NSW Gabrielle Upton,
Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian

Dear Premier and Minister,

I am writing on behalf of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council, a group that’s been in operation since 1969 as a voice for wildlife, and issues relating to their conservation and welfare.

We are horrified and deeply concerned to read a report in the media about annihilation of koala habitats. Freedom of information request by North Coast Environment Council (NCEC) exposed that the state-owned corporation, Forestry Corporation, has conducted “unauthorised” clearing and intensive logging across 74,906 hectares of public native forests between Coffs Harbour and Taree since 2006! So this covert operation, illegal and lethal, has been allowed to continue for over a decade without intervention?

Documents show clearing of koala habitat

How are we meant to be assured that wildlife in Australia have ANY legal protection or status when such blatant and long-term vandalism is allowed? Surely this can’t be covered-up for such a long time with collaboration between logging industry and government?


NCEC spokeswoman Susie Russell said: “Public native forest has been cleared and converting it to quasi-plantation. What is meant to be multi aged forests, with diverse under-stories, providing habitat for a plethora of native animals, is being converted into younger and younger regrowth where the under-storey is bulldozed bare.”

So public native forests have now transitioned to an industry resource, rather than being “public” and a reserve for rightful inhabitants- native animals?

“Many animals, including koalas, need the resources provided by older trees to survive.” How would we survive if bulldozers were allowed to demolish our homes, and leave us without food or protection? She said that about one in every three hectares of forest cleared was high quality koala habitat, according to the mapping recently released by the Environment Protection Authority.

“Now we can see why koala numbers have declined by 50 per cent on the north coast in the last 15-20 years.”

This is an appalling case, of koala genocide in the name of $$$ – in a country famous and renown as a leading mammal exterminator!

WWF say that once the habitat has been redeveloped, that this brought new threats to the koala, such as more cars, more dogs, “more accidents waiting to happen for koalas.” So “redeveloped” habitat is a grotesque euphemism for vandalism of habitat, of destruction by bull-dozing?

Numbers of koalas are down 53 per cent on average in Queensland, 26 per cent in NSW and in a pocket ironically known as the Koala Coast, numbers have declined by 80 per cent over the past two decades. What sort of nation are we, to just kill off so callously, for short term profits , the animals we are famous for?

WWF has warned of “localised extinctions” if more was not done to stop development encroaching on koala habitats. “Government has to bite the bullet and put in strong protections, not just for koalas but for all our wildlife,” conservation manager for WWF, Dr Taylor, says!

Extinction is not an event, but a process – and each tree cleared, each patch of habitat destroyed, means fewer koalas!

We demand a response to this horrific situation, and ask to put an end to land clearing in NSW. We demand higher levels of protection to all wildlife – especially koalas.. Indigenous wildlife should not have to justify their existence, or be priced out of their homes and lives!!

Thank you
Vivienne Ortega, secretary AWPC
Eve Kelly, Treasurer
Sheila Newman, Policy adviser, and Evolutionary Sociologist
Michael Bayliss,
President, Sustainable Population Australia Victorian and Tasmanian branch
PO Box 556
Hawthorn 3122

Dr. Ernest Healy
President, Protectors of Public Lands, Victoria
P.O.Box 197 Parkville 3152

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Petition:Protect koala habitat in an effort to better ensure koalas will not die off.

Koalas are declining in rapid numbers because the trees where they spend a majority of their time are being quickly chopped down.

Roads are being built where there were once trees, increasing the risk that the animals will be hit by cars. In addition, when houses are built in place of the trees that once covered the particular land, the animals are in greater danger of being attacked by the dogs of the people who now live in the newly built houses.

Up here in Queensland and New South Wales, they’ve got koalas that are declining rapidly, population’s dropping off the face of the Earth right on their doorstep and we’re not able to do anything about it, seemingly. In South East Queensland, the human population is increasing by more than 1000 people a week. This rapid population growth and increased need for houses is placing considerable pressure on the limited remaining koala habitat.

Currently, about 80 percent of the koalas’ habitat is almost completely ruined due to human encroachment. Only a small portion of this land is now protected. This is ironic when one considers that the koala is a protected species. Yet, because the koala’s habitat is constantly being destroyed, about 4,000 of these animals are killed by cars and dogs every year.

The human population of the narrow strip between Noosa and the Gold Coast – South East Queensland’s “200km city” – will swell by 2.2 million to 5.5 million in 30 years. It’s all part of the “big Australia” policy! That extra development will finally get rid of koalas in SE Queensland, something governments been working very hard to achieve for decades. Massive immigration coupled with a PM who doles out infrastructure funding not on need but only to those who follow his radical political ideology on asset sales.

Urge officials to protect larger areas of the eucalyptus forests where these animals live in order to help save them. If we don’t do something now, koalas may soon have no place in the wild that solely belongs just to them.

Sign the Petition

The Redlands koala population, estimated in 1999 to be 6,200 animals, has plummeted by approximately 75% (in 15 years). The koala was recently listed by your government as ‘vulnerable’ in Queensland with South East Qld suffering the greatest loss of koala numbers.
Habitat loss (to property developers and infrastructure) is the greatest threat to the koala’s survival followed by disease, vehicle strikes and domestic dog attacks.

On Line Petition to save koalas in the southern area of Redlands

Since European settlement, hundreds of species have become extinct in Australia, including at least 50 bird and mammal, 4 frog and more than 60 plant species. It is likely that other species have disappeared but without our knowledge. Many other species are considered to be threatened and are listed under Australian Government legislation as endangered or vulnerable. More than 310 species of native animals and over 1180 species of native plants are at risk of disappearing forever.

As long ago as 1994 the Australian Academy of Sciences advocated a maximum population for Australia of 24 million, a figure we are fast approaching and will soon exceed. In 2010 the National Institute of Labour Studies at Flinders University looked at different levels of net overseas migration – from zero up to 260,000 p.a. – and found that all levels lead to worryingly unsustainable positions, which worsen the higher the levels become.

(featured image: koala dead at Redlands- Queensland government)

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