House debates

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Statements by Members

Macarthur Electorate: Koalas

1:45 pm

Photo of Mike FreelanderMike Freelander (Macarthur, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Many times I've risen in this House to offer the government a path forward to protect Macarthur's unique koala colony. Tragically, the koala has been declared endangered across much of eastern Australia, and this is a travesty. I welcome the environment minister making this declaration, but this has happened on the coalition's watch. For six years now, as previous environment ministers, including the current Treasurer, will attest, I've been pleading with the government to take this issue seriously. They have not. Instead, the coalition have ignored every offer to work with them in a bipartisan fashion. They've rejected every solution and every request for funding and support. Now we have the government admitting to their failures in spectacular style and still doing nothing. I am very angry about this.

Those opposite have done nothing to protect the koalas in my community, the last disease-free koalas on the fringes of Australia's biggest city, from becoming extinct. Our vibrant colony is living in the Georges River catchment area, facing huge threats from habitat destruction. They've had no support from this government. We need a Twin Rivers national park. They've done nothing. We need to stop land clearing. They've done nothing. They don't listen. They do nothing. They're a fraud. (Time expired)