The future of the koala in this state is in peril following years of rapid deforestation and the recent Black Summer bushfires.
Yet habitat destruction continues at a fast pace including through state subsidised logging. In Parliament I called for the creation of the Great Koala National Park which would add 175,000 hectares of state forest to existing protected areas to form a 315,000 hectare reserve in the Coffs Harbour hinterland. The proposed park contains 44 percent of all koala hubs in state forests and there would be flow on benefits for other species including the platypus.
Work by the University of Newcastle identified that the park would bring economic benefits to the region worth over $1.2 billion including an additional 9,800 jobs because of the massive boost to tourism in an environment where jobs in logging are declining.
We must protect the koala from extinction and the Great Koala National Park provides an opportunity to create a biodiversity hub and carbon sink for future generations while contributing to the regional economy. My speech: > HERE.