Labor Minister shuns koalas in Currumbin

11 Mar 2011 12:33 PMJann Stuckey

11 March 2011

Member for Currumbin Jann Stuckey MP has accused the Minister for Environment and Resource Management of paying lip service to Labor’s koala habitat protection policy.

Debating the Environmental Protection and Other Acts Amendment Bill in parliament this week, which included koala habitat policy, Ms Stuckey raised the plight of the dwindling koala population in her electorate and the great work being done by staff and volunteers at the Currumbin Sanctuary’s wildlife hospital.

“The Minister did herself no favours by criticising the content of my speech and causing me to cut out important information. She merely exposed not only her naivety but also her incompetence to carry this important portfolio.  

“Unfortunately I didn’t get to finish my speech because the Minister objected to me talking about the decimation of our local koala population and the need to protect them.

“She didn’t want to hear about the neglect her Government has shown in relation to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) and the fact they don’t give them a cent of funding.

“It was obvious the Minister didn’t like hearing of her Government’s failures, so she threw a tantrum just like a spoiled child.

“This Government’s environmental credentials are a sham and the Minister’s attitude towards koala injuries treated at the CWS Wildlife Hospital is an insult to the dedicated staff and volunteers.

“Over the past four years, numbers of injured and sick koalas being treated at the Wildlife Hospital have soared, from 28 in 2007 to 129 in 2010.  

“The state government has spent over $1 million on koala mapping to supposedly minimise the impact of development on the koala population, yet areas in Currumbin Waters and Elanora that are known koala habitats have been omitted.

“Under Labor, Queensland’s koala population has declined 64%. Not surprising considering Labor has slashed the environment budget by $20 million in just 3 years.

“With less than 2000 koalas left on the Gold Coast, there are grave fears for the future of this much-loved species.

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Media Contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919