Morrison Government is failing koalas

By Terri Butler MP

23 November 2020

The Morrison Government has finally announced a koala audit, ten months after Labor first called for a national ecological audit in the wake of the bushfires.

But counting koalas is not enough.
 
The Liberals and Nationals have let koalas down at every turn.
 
Under the Coalition, 170 out of 171 threatened species recovery plans are overdue. The threatened species recovery plan for the koala, originally due in 2015, is one of them.
 
When Labor asked the Minister about this in Question Time, she accused us of being too focused on “plans”.
 
It is the Minister’s job to make sure threatened species recovery plans are established and she’s failing.
 
Under the Liberals and Nationals, the National Koala Conservation Strategy, which ran out in 2014, has not yet been replaced six years later.
 
Three billion animals were killed or displaced in the bushfires. An area of up to 19 million hectares was burned. An inquiry has found koalas are at risk of being extinct in New South Wales by 2050.
 
Yet it took the Minister until September this year to request that the koala be considered for threatened species status “uplisting” and until November to announce an audit.
 
Not good enough.