Robyn Parker removes protections for koalas on the mid north coast

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Environment Minister Robyn Parker and the O'Farrell Government have removed key protections for koalas on the Mid North Coast, new documents have revealed.

Ms Parker has removed the Koala Plan of Management for the Pine Creek State Forest near Coffs Harbour, lifting restrictions that previously prevented logging in the koala habitat.*

The Koala Management Plan was introduced in May 2000 following many years of lobbying by the local community.

"Once again, we have seen the Environment Minister and O'Farrell Government turn their backs on our environment and open up another key koala habitat to logging," Shadow Environment Minister, Luke Foley said today.

"Under these changes, existing restrictions to protect koalas from loggers in the Pine Creek State Forest will no longer apply.

"This directly contradicts the NSW Government’s official Koala Recovery Plan, which says there should be more multi-tenure Koala Management Plans in NSW.

"This was the one and only multi-tenure Koala Management Plan in NSW, covering both the Pine Creek State Forest and the Bongil Bongil National Park, and now it is being removed altogether.

"The Environment Minister should be increasing protections for koala populations, not slashing them.

"It is also worth noting that Pine Creek State Forest is just down the road from Boambee State Forest, where Robyn Parker famously claimed in 2011 that 'logging protects koalas'."

*http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/forestagreements/UNEIFOAamend7.pdf (p47)