Pressure on pollies to act for koalas
CAN you imagine an Australia without koalas?
That is the image Australian Koala Foundation is warning 128 federal politicians about in a letter, outlining the dire state of our koala populations.
AKF chief executive officer Deborah Tabart is calling on our federal politicians to declare their support for a Koala Protection Act (KPA) by September 1, Save the Koala Month, as AKF members want to know where their representatives stand.
Deborah says a KPA specifically designed to protect vital koala habitat is the only way to ensure the Australian icon's future in the wild.
"With this letter, I have also sent a number of written briefs supporting why I think the system is broken and incapable of protecting the koala - now and into the future - and why it is time for something new," she said.
"The briefs are sobering to read and they pull together nearly 30 years of information into readable form."
Ms Tabart said the KPA was based on the American Bald Eagle Act and had been drafted by "brilliant national and international legal minds".
"The KPA will not be an impediment to industry, particularly if it does the right thing," she said.
"It is time industry was put on notice to produce excellent science as part of its environmental assessments."
Ms Tabart said she had seen some shocking things in her 27-year career, including watching industry leaders plead with senators not to protect the koala.
"I don't believe anyone has actually considered what would happen to the Australian economy if the koala was to disappear from the landscape," she said.
"Koala tourism alone brings more than $3 billion and 30,000 jobs annually."
For more information go to savethekoala.com.