TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR OUR KOALAS - submissions close 5pm 7 February 2014
TAKE ACTION HERE Quick online submission via IFAW can be sent via this link
So concerned for koalas is the International Fund for Animal Welfare IFAW they have an online petition to Peter Wright Director, Species Information and Policy Section, Department of Environment concerning the Draft EPBC Act referral guidelines for koalas.
LACA Logan and Albert Conservation Association agrees with IFAW's conclusion that
If the government's Koala Referral Guidelines get the green light, it will legalise the destruction of vital koala habit. We urgently need your help as the 7th February deadline to prevent further koala deaths is looming. Let’s find a way to stop the bulldozers.
The latest proposed 'referral guidelines' are just another nail in the coffin, putting profit before protection. We need your help to let the Government know that this approach isn't good enough and that they must do much more if we are to save this precious Aussie icon.
Please write to the Government today making your views known. IFAW have drafted a submission the text follows below.
I am writing to you as an Australian animal lover to express my deep concern about the draft referral guidelines for koalas (combined populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory).
These draft guidelines are not robust enough to ensure that potentially damaging developments are submitted for referral and scrutiny.
• Many areas important to the survival of koalas in urban and semi-urban areas are deemed not to need referral.
• The scoring system for determining which koala habitats are referred is flawed, with only habitats achieving high scores of 8+ needing to be referred, ignoring those still critical koala habitats that may not make the grade.
• Cumulative impacts have been completely ignored.
These draft guidelines would potentially allow extremely risky and damaging developments to proceed without proper assessment and without the opportunity for community or public scrutiny and consultation. This is a recipe for the continued demise of koala populations.
The threatened species referral measures under the EPBC Act need to be applied with rigour and a high degree of precaution and priority if they are to have any impact in protecting koalas. These guidelines are a step in the opposite direction – opening the door for unsustainable development to destroy habitats vital for koala survival.
As a priority a robust National Recovery Plan for the koala must be developed and implemented. This must include follow-up mechanisms to guarantee the continuation and improvement of coordinated management and conservation efforts for the species, ensuring that the populations not covered by the EPBC Act also are considered.
Australian Koala Foundation has also condemned the Draft EPBC Act referral guidelines for koalas.
You can read more from AKF here
Save the koala media release is scathing of the guidelines and their intention ending
“We have little faith that the EPBC Act or these guidelines will achieve much for the Koala. Indeed the only reason we have made this submission is to ensure our position is on the record. The only way to achieve true protection for the Koala will be to get the Koala Protection Act passed in Federal Parliament. And we will,” says Tabart.
Time is short but a short submission is all that is needed.
Guidelines website linked here states "These draft guidelines have been developed in consultation with Koala experts, ecological consultants and state government representatives. The public comment period provides an opportunity for wider consultation with stakeholders. Feedback is welcomed on all aspects of the guidelines and all comments received will be considered in the finalisation of this document."
Comments may be submitted in an Excel, Word or PDF format. Comments must be submitted to:
See also what Wildlife Queensland had to say about the guidelines - concluding
However, is it too little, too late? The Government at all levels has known what to do to ensure a sustainable coexistence between koalas and humans for decades, yet has chosen instead to prioritise anthropological development over the protection of prime koala habitat and the preservation of a national icon. Wildlife Queensland lives in hope that appropriate action will be taken before it is too late. Our children’s children should have the right to view the koala in the wild.