North East Forest Alliance
November 19, 2020
The decision by the NSW Upper House today to refer the National Party's Koala killing bill to the Koala inquiry for review has been welcomed by the North East Forest Alliance as a chance to expose its disastrous consequences for the survival of Koalas, along with some of the dirty background dealings.
Catherine Cusack today moved an amendment that referred the National Party's 's Local Land Services (Amendment) Bill to Portfolio Committee No. 7 - Planning and Environment for review. This was narrowly passed by 19 to 18 votes.
North East Forest Alliance sincerely thanks Liberal Catherine Cusack for coming to the rescue of Koalas today by passionately refusing to support the National Party's Koala killing bill when it was presented to the NSW Upper House today, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"The bill has been referred to the committee that undertook the inquiry 'Koala populations and habitat in New South Wales,' that exposed the grossly inadequate protection for Koalas on private land and their likely extinction by 2050 unless we take real and meaningful action to save them.
"We trust that this will give an opportunity to expose the far reaching and disastrous consequences of the National's Local Land Services (Amendment) Bill for Koalas, and show the pretence that it was benign for Koalas up as a lie.
"It may also shed some light on the Machiavellian machinations of the National Party in misrepresenting the currency of the maps which had already been dropped, threatening to resign from the coalition unless the Liberals agreed to all their demands, making legislative changes that the Liberals now say hadn't been agreed and they inadvertently voted for, and apparent backroom deals to stop Councils including core Koala habitat in environment zones.
"While Premier Gladys Berejiklian claimed to stand strong, she effectively capitulated to the National's demands by narrowing the definition of core Koala habitat in the Koala State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) to make it harder to identify core Koala habitat, and then gave the Nationals free reign to make dramatic changes to the Local Land Services Act.
"Not only did the Nationals seek to remove the prohibitions on logging and broadscale clearing of core Koala habitat, their bill also tried to stop Councils from being able to include core Koala habitat in environment protection zones, and tried to prohibit Councils from being able to regulate logging and clearing in environmental zones.
"Catherine Cusack has shown that she has enough integrity to stand up against National Party bullying for the survival of Koalas by moving to refer this bill back to the Koala committee. She is the saviour for the 67% of Koalas that live on private lands" Mr. Pugh said.