Australia needs stronger national environment laws, including an independent regular, to ensure the koala does not go extinct on the east coast of Australia, according to the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Freya Cole.
Koalas have now been listed as an endangered species in New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory amid fears the iconic animal could be extinct within a few decades.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley announced the government would boost the level of protection for the marsupials under the National Environmental law, following a $50 million commitment to koala conservation and protection last month.
Ms Cole told Sky News Australia the federal government has been slow to implement a recovery plan to ensure the preservation of the species.
“We should have had that recovery plan yesterday; this has been ongoing for 10 years, we shouldn’t have got to this point in the first place,” she said.
“As part of the recovery plan, we actually need stronger national environment laws.
“We need an independent regular to make sure that any projects approved under the national environment laws are doing the right thing.
“Native forest logging is exempt from the national environment law, and large-scale agriculture, a blind eye is often turned to that.
“There is so much in this recovery plan that needs to happen to make sure that our children and our grandchildren grow up to see koalas in the wild.”