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Australia Farmers claim NSW Government plan to double national parks for koala protection will make farming more difficult

05:46  29 july  2020
05:46  29 july  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Farmers claim NSW Government plan to double national parks for koala protection will make farming more difficult

  Farmers claim NSW Government plan to double national parks for koala protection will make farming more difficult The NSW Government is launching a plan to double the state's population of koalas by 2050 by doubling the size of national parks, but farmers say the best way to protect the koala habitats is to pay farmers.NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said action was needed to save the koalas after as many as 5,000 died in the massive bushfires earlier in the year.

The New South Wales Government will discuss establishing a national park south of Sydney to protect the The NSW Environment Minister will talk to cabinet about establishing a national park for the The Mount Gilead development is part of the State Government 's plan to add 35,000 homes to

The New South Wales government ’s controversial biodiversity laws have passed their final hurdle in parliament, with farmers winning greater power He warned that broadscale clearing could double in NSW as a result of the changes. Farmers will be allowed to clear native vegetation without approval

a close up of a koala: Farmers are concerned about the expansion of national parks under a koala protection plan. (Supplied: Graham Howard) © Provided by ABC News Farmers are concerned about the expansion of national parks under a koala protection plan. (Supplied: Graham Howard)

The New South Wales Government has launched a plan to double the threatened koala population by doubling the size of national parks, but that has farmers worried.

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said action was needed to save the koalas after as many as 5,000 died in the massive bushfires earlier in the year.

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The National Parks Association of NSW says without urgent action it is possible that koalas will become extinct. Metal-style fencing in residential areas has been raised as a major obstacle for koalas . The New South Wales parliamentary inquiry is looking into policies and government funding to

Berejikliian government ’s new fairy story. Today’s Sun Herald publishes an article headlined “ Kean aims to double NSW koalas by No one knows how many koalas are left after the catastrophic bushfires. We do know that in January, Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said

With the population shrinking to an estimated 15,000 there are concerns koalas may become extinct.

"No-one wants to see our koalas wiped out, we want to see the population stabilized and I want to see it doubled by 2050," he said.

NSW Farmers Association is opposed to the expansion of national parks because it will increase the number of feral pests which will make farming very difficult.

Mr Kean said he understood farmers' concerns and was also worried about the risks pest animals posed to koalas.

"Feral dogs are a huge threat to koalas so we'll be investing a lot, spending thousands of hours in the air shooting pests," he said.

Urban sprawl, fire a bigger threat: farmers

Bronwyn Petrie from the NSW Farmers Association acknowledged the Government had been successful in culling feral animals along the eastern seaboard, but said the focus now should be on addressing other causes of the decline in koala populations.

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The government has committed to protecting our national parks and biodiversity, yet investment is lower and jobs have been slashed. But despite having iconic parks like the Daintree and some of the richest biodiversity, Queensland still has a much lower proportion of national parks .

A year-long NSW parliamentary inquiry has found koalas are on track to become extinct in the wild in NSW well before 2050 without urgent intervention to stop Other recommendations include creating a Georges River National Park to protect the south -west Sydney koala population, investigating the

"Housing is encroaching on koala habitats in coastal areas," she said.

Ms Petrie believes the State Government should reduce urban sprawl instead of increase the area of national parks.

She is also calling for more "mosaic burning" of koala habitats to reduce the intensity of bushfires.

Ms Petrie said volunteer firefighters, many of them farmers, witnessed koalas unable to escape the extreme bushfires last summer because of the intensity of the flames, and said hazard reduction burning could alleviate that.

"Where we had mosaic burning they came down from trees and escaped across the fireground," she said.

Farmers want a different approach

Ms Petrie said the best way to protect the koala populations was to pay farmers.

"If governments put a value on how many koalas you have on your property, farmers would be putting their hand up," she said.

Ms Petrie said landholders would be more willing to protect koala habitats if it was valued in the same way as land clearing.

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The Great Koala National Park would be a major step towards ensuring koalas are a familiar sight for It would also protect a host of other threatened species and the most diverse eucalypt forests on National Parks Association of NSW needs your help with “ NSW Government : Match Labor's

New South Wales government is failing to protect koalas by allowing further land clearing, logging and habitat destruction, National Parks That EPA report also found there were more koalas in forests that were more mature. It therefore concluded that logging was bad for koalas , since even if

"Farmers are told they have to pay $20,000 a hectare for clearing, but they're only offered $30 a hectare to protect habitat," she said.

Conservationists delighted

The Nature Conservation Council has welcomed the minister's pledge to double the state's koala population.

"These are exactly the sorts of ambitious targets we need if we are to have any chance of saving the species," said council chief executive Chris Gambian.

The council wants the Government to support the Great Koala National Park proposal, which would protect more than 55,000 hectares of prime koala habitat in the state's Coffs Harbour region.

The council want to see an end to logging and land clearing on public and private land to protect koala habitat and invest in large-scale revegetation projects on land that has been "over-cleared".

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