By Terri Butler MP

11 February 2022

Environment Minister Sussan Ley has finally accepted the recommendation of the threatened species scientific committee that the koala populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory should have their conservation status upgraded, after years of delay.

Federal Labor welcomes the increase in protection status.

But advice to increase the protection status of the koala was due to the Minister months ago.

The Minister has taken months to act. Why the delay?

The national recovery plan for the koala was due in 2015, and is now six years overdue. When will Australians see a recovery plan for the koala?

These delays and broken promises are happening two years after the national bushfire crisis which killed or displaced 3 billion animals and significantly hurt koala populations.

Australians want to see the koala saved, and for this to happen the Government needs to take action on climate change.

They've been in power for almost a decade and throughout that time they have dragged their heels on climate change and on koala protection.

It is now eight years after the end of the National Koala Conservation and Management Strategy, which the Labor Government put in place, and which the Coalition never bothered to renew.

This is just another example of the Morrison-Joyce Government’s failure to act. With no recovery plan, and no conservation strategy, this Government has put the beloved koala at risk.