MEDIA RELEASE

Koalas need a plan - Murrah Flora Reserves in LNP management quagmire

 

10 February 2019

 

Since its much-heralded declaration in 2016 as the Murrah Flora Reserve, the former State Forests between Tathra and Bermagui have languished in a management quagmire, with no Strategic Plan of Management adopted and severe lack of funding.

 

"After a successful campaign by local conservationists, the Murrah Flora Reserve was created to protect one of New South Wales most threatened Koala populations," Will Douglas, Greens Candidate for the seat of Bega said today, "Yet in nearly three years little has been done to conserve these Koalas or their habitat."

 

"I was lucky enough to find some koala poos in Mumbulla State Forest, near an area being logged, a few years ago. This was just one of many community efforts which led to the protection of the forest."

 

"The State Liberal Government committed to protecting these Koalas, yet we still have no Strategic Management Plan nearly two years after being finalised with no sign of promised financial support ."

Local MP Andrew Constance made it clear at the time that he wanted these forests opened up for logging again in the future, and I challenge him to make his intentions clear.[1]

 

"The Murrah Flora Reserve, managed by National Parks and Wildlife Service, receives a paltry $110,000 a year from Forestry Corporation to manage over 40,000 hectares, 2,000 of which is a major bushfire threat due to dense post-logging regrowth. This is an enormous threat to both the koalas and to local community," Mr Douglas said.

 

"The funding allocation is laughable," Mr Douglas went on to say. "It barely covers one field Officer position and a vehicle. Our Koalas and our communities deserve better."

 

"The local Greens and I call on Mr Constance and the State Government to immediately include it in the neighbouring Biamanga National Park as was always the goal of Traditional Owners.  The Government  must immediately increase funding for the Reserve and provide sorely needed research into managing the koalas and the dire threat from bushfire they face."

 

"The Greens want to see this vulnerable Koala population thrive in the care of traditional custodians," Mr Douglas concluded. "Anything less is a betrayal of the Koalas and a betrayal of future generations."

 

Will Douglas

Greens Candidate for Bega

Willdouglas1956@gmail.com

 

 

[1] "Mr Constance said the forests were converted to flora reserves - which cannot be logged - instead of national parks, so in the future the option of harvesting them again could be considered. " https://www.naroomanewsonline.com.au/story/3766709/state-forests-south-of-bermagui-become-flora-reserves

 

Authorised by Andrew Blake for the Greens NSW, 1/275 Broadway Glebe NSW 2037