With the status of koalas shifting from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’, not-for-profit The Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) has criticised the government’s koala-recovery plan, asking the next government to go further to protect the marsupial.
In a media release, AKF Chair Deborah Tabart criticised the plan for not having legislative power and not including Victoria or South Australia in its jurisdiction.
Tabart noted the AKF had been waiting a decade for robust koala protection, particularly as the animal faces habitat destruction.
“Conveniently the environment minister released [the plan] just 3 days before going into ‘caretaker’ mode — No doubt a strategic ploy to pass the buck to the incoming environment minister, the 15th of my time at AKF, and worse still ensure that Australians had little time to review and rebut the plan,” Tabart said.
AKF also expressed frustration at receiving what it labelled as a ‘standard response’ in its communications with the government, pointing to its efforts to collaborate in the mapping of koala habitats. The organisation further condemned the lack of climate change action in the plan.
The details of the koala-recovery plan were released in March.
The AKF has drafted its own legislation, the Koala Protection Act, and has called on both the two major parties and the Greens to support the bill.