Koala empty habitatThe Greens NSW support plans by the Western Woodlands Alliance for a Western Woodlands Koala Park to protect this iconic species in NSW. The Western Woodlands report released today shows that koalas across two thirds of NSW are facing extinction from habitat loss and climate change.

Without intervention in state forests, private land and native forests reserves, koalas face real risks of becoming extinct. The Greens join with conservationists to strongly endorse the proposal for a western woodlands koala park and will work across NSW and Parliament to help deliver this. 

The park is a bold vision preserving and linking koala habitat from the Queensland to Victorian borders to ensure the ongoing survival of koalas. Full details of the Western Woodland Alliance’s Koala Park can be found at westernwoods.weebly.com  

Greens MP and Environment spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi said: 

“As koala numbers continue to dwindle, this plan for a Western Woodland Koala Park is a very welcome and much needed step forward to permanently protect key koala habitat.  

“The NSW Government’s plan to weaken land clearing protections will have a devastating impact on the habitat of the 64% of koala populations on private land.  We need to ensure koalas are protected across the entire landscape, including by providing habitat connectivity and linkages.

“The effects of climate change will continue to intensify and we need to be acting now to protect biodiversity.

Greens MP and Forestry spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

 Cute Bellingen koalas“It’s a sobering thought that so much key koala habitat is in State Forests, those same forests that are currently subject to unsustainable wood supply contracts, woodchipping and clear-fell logging. 

“The 24% of identified koala habitat contained in state forests must be a priority for ongoing preservation. 

“We strongly support moves to ensure all koala habitat in State native forests is protected from logging. We know that accessible active forests with eco-tourism and regional links can play a key part in protecting koala habitat and delivering regional jobs. 

“Koalas are in drastic decline across many parts of Australia and this plan represents a realistic and achievable way to arrest this decline and protect this iconic species for generations to come,” Mr Shoebridge said.