Wednesday, 7 October 2020
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) prior to 2012, the koala was not protected under Commonwealth law,
(ii) on 22 September 2011, the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee tabled the report of its inquiry into the status, health and sustainability of Australia's koala population which, among other things, unanimously recommended that the Minister for the Environment consider listing the koala as a vulnerable species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act),
(iv) one-third of New South Wales' koala population is estimated to have been killed in the 2019-20 bushfires; and
(b) welcomes and supports the New South Wales Government's State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2019 instrument as being consistent with the koala's status under the EPBC Act and as a significant measure aimed at further protection of vulnerable and threatened New South Wales koala populations.
The federal government supports the state environmental planning policy as revised by the New South Wales state government. The revisions that were negotiated in coalition cabinet provide for the protection of vulnerable and threatened New South Wales koala populations while ensuring there is not onerous green tape for our farmers.
What a debacle we've seen in New South Wales over the last few weeks in relation to this issue. I understand that Senator Ayres is pointing out just what an absolute mess the New South Wales government has been in over this. Let's be very clear: the National Party have no intention of protecting the environment, saving the koala or doing anything to protect wildlife. They almost split the New South Wales government apart because they wanted the right to kill koalas. This is the legacy and the attitude of the National Party, whether it's John Barilaro, Barnaby Joyce or those here in this place.
Question agreed to.