Parker clobbered on koalas: Mid-North Coast councils demand Minister stop logging and protect our national icon

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Hapless Environment Minister Robyn Parker is under mounting pressure on koalas with the Mid North Coast Group of Councils writing a scathing letter protesting her decision to allow logging in core koala habitats, Shadow Environment Minister Luke Foley said today.

A letter from the Mid North Coast Group of Councils was sent to Robyn Parker on August 19, 2011. Three months later, no reply has been forthcoming from Robyn Parker by telephone or in writing.

"The Mid North Coast Group of Councils have written to Robyn Parker seeking that she put a stop to the logging of core koala habitats," Mr Foley said.

"These councils are traditionally pro-development – but even they are alarmed that Robyn Parker is allowing a national icon to be endangered thanks to her 'unsound ecological approach'.

"Robyn Parker received this warning three months ago – what has she done about it?

"On October 27, Robyn Parker declared that 'logging protects koalas'. That incredible statement really said it all.

"This is a Minister who has refused to stop logging in the Boambee State Forest near Coffs Harbour – a key habitat for the largest coastal koala population left in eastern Australia. She has also refused to stop logging in south east NSW forests like Bermagui.

"NSW needs a new Environment Minister with her eye on the ball – someone willing to stand up for the declining koala population and protect their remaining habitats."

KEY CONCERNS

  • "It is understood that the [Office of Environment and Heritage] have issued a number of Property Vegetation Plan approvals in core koala habitat."
  • "In line with the objectives of the Native Vegetation Act and the aims of the State Koala Recovery Plan it is considered highly inappropriate to koala conservation and recovery to permit forestry in areas of core koala habitat."
  • "Accordingly the Mid North Coast Group of Councils seek an immediate policy commitment from the Minister for the Environment that [Office of Environment and Heritage] will implement the koala prescriptions within the PNF Code of Practice in accordance with the objectives of the Native Vegetation Act."