Do the Nationals want a ‘last koala’ park?
WITH the very fabric of the NSW Liberal-National Coalition under threat over the state's koala protection policy this letter writer has posed an interesting question.
On Friday the NSW Government was saved from collapse after National Party leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro reneged on his threat to stop supporting Government legislation over the state's koala protection policy.
It came after the Premier Gladys Berejiklian made it clear National Party members would lose their ministerial portfolios if they followed through with the threat - brought on by concerns over a new koala State Environmental Planning Policy.
This letter writer says it is just a myth that The Nationals care about the bush:
The Last Koala National Park
I think the threat by The NSW Nationals, including the MPs Chris Gulaptis, Gurmesh Singh and Upper House MLC Sam Farraway to sit on the cross bench, rather than strengthen the NSW Koala SEPP (State Environment Planning Policy) can only stem from a deep capitalist intention to establish, The Last Koala National Park in Coffs Harbour as a major tourist attraction.
Imagine if there were no koalas left but one. What a major coup for Coffs Harbour. Cheap to establish too! One koala doesn't take up much space.
Think of the jobs it would create.
If this is not their intention, then their stance is simply a perpetuation of the myth that the National Party care about the bush.
This myth carries the archaic attitude that farmers manage land better than anyone else.
In Coffs Harbour there is mounting evidence of substantial pollution from farms in Coffs waterways.
Across the state there is overwhelming evidence that the biggest threat to koalas is continued habitat loss, which is occurring in forests and farms at an alarming rate.
This mythological world of The Nationals comes complete with a persecution complex of cultural imagery where the dichotomy of the city, versus the rural town and its environment is also in play.
Witness Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis getting really annoyed when those 'city-centric people preach to us, especially when people in Sydney have done nothing for their koalas'.
Actually, we must all care about koalas, including farmers and foresters, and city people. The Nationals need to be stopped from weakening any protections for koalas on private land.
Either Councils are assisted to identify and map comprehensive Koala Plans of Management or landowners and developers must put in DAs to clear and log.
These National Party members are waging a war to complete the destruction of any competent policy for koalas.
This war aims to occupy a territory that the harder and crazier you are, the better it is. Seeing as these actions would positively influence the collapse of the koala, I can only imagine it is a cunning move to establish The Last Koala National Park in the region.
Oxley ALP Spokesperson
Farmer, Bowraville NSW