House debates

Monday, 10 September 2018

Statements by Members

National Threatened Species Day

4:06 pm

Photo of Graham PerrettGraham Perrett (Moreton, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

We get many visitors to Parliament House—lobbyists and the like, and not all of them are cute and cuddly—but today some of our native animals, including koalas, ringtail possums and even a Tasmanian devil, came into Parliament House. Sadly, they all had one thing in common. They are threatened species. Today is Threatened Species Day. I loved the furry koala photo op as much as anyone, but the point of the visit was that the existence of these species is threatened. That was the message to all politicians in this building. We ignore the pleas of these species at their peril. The legacy by which we will be judged will be the planet that we leave for our children and grandchildren.

Moreton is less than 10 kilometres from Brisbane's CBD but still has a koala habitat that I walk in every morning. Toohey Forest comprises 640 hectares, one of Brisbane's green lungs, and is home to many native plants and animals, including koalas. Like all koalas, the ones in Toohey Forest are under increasing threat. Koalas feed on eucalypts. Gum tree leaves provide all the nutrients and moisture that koalas need to survive. Unfortunately, climate change is causing the leaves to change in composition. They are becoming less nutritious and contain less water. Koalas are climbing down from their trees in search of food and water, thus putting themselves in danger from motor vehicles and domestic pets like cats and all those dogs that run off-leash in Toohey Forest. If we're serious about protecting our threatened species, we need a government that is serious about acting on climate change. The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government has done nothing to prepare our nation and protect our children and grandchildren against the worst impacts of climate change. (Time expired)

Honourable Members:

Honourable members interjecting

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Before I call the next speaker, I issue a general request. I need to be able to hear the speakers. The level of conversations happening on both sides of the chamber is at times too high.