House debates

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Statements by Members


1:52 pm

Photo of Terri ButlerTerri Butler (Griffith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Environment and Water) Share this | | Hansard source

BUTLER () (): The 2020 bushfires were really damaging for Australia's koala populations on the east coast. We know that to be the case. Yet, it wasn't until two years after those fires started that the minister finally received advice on whether to uplist to increase the protection status of the koala. For some unexplained reason, it wasn't until three months later that she actually announced the decision to uplist the koala from vulnerable to endangered. But why would we expect anything better from this government other than delay, obfuscation and failure? In fact, this government is the government that has actually managed—you wouldn't believe it—to fail to produce a koala threatened species recovery plan.

This recovery plan is more than six years overdue. In that time, the koala protection status has been uplisted. It is an absolute disgrace that this government's failures in relation to the environment are being visited upon our iconic national treasure, the koala, but also on so many other threatened species that this country is failing to protect under the leadership of the Morrison-Joyce government. It's about time they stepped up, did the right thing and took real action to protect koalas and all threatened species, as our country deserves.