Why we need the Great Koala National Park
Koala numbers plummeted by a third in the 20 years between 1990 and 2010. That is only three koala generations! We must take action now, not wait for numbers to dwindle further. The Great Koala National Park will protect our national icon.
Currently most koalas in NSW live outside of protected areas. In fact, because our National Park network is biased towards higher, more infertile country, it doesn’t capture well the habitat that koalas prefer – fertile, coastal forests that produce more nutritious leaves.
Logging laws threaten koalas
In November 2018 the NSW government commenced new logging laws called ‘Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals’. The laws reduce protections for forest wildlife, including koalas. One of the worst changes is the introduction of an intensive harvesting zone over 140,000 hectares of coastal forest between Taree and Grafton – covering many of the forests proposed to be included in the Great Koala National Park!
The intensive harvesting zone will see large-scale clearfelling legalised on the north coast for the first time. Because most of the trees will be gone, it’s likely that most of the koalas will be too! The Great Koala National Park offers the government an alternative to this destruction.
Freedom of information documents show that the Great Koala National Park is in the right place!
In mid 2018, NPA obtained documents and data through freedom of information from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. OEH had conducted research into where koalas are located (called ‘koala hubs’). Analysis of the data showed that the Great Koala National Park contained 44% of all hubs in state forests in NSW. We are confident that the government data supports NPA’s view that the Great Koala National Park is the most important area of public land in NSW for koalas!