Media release: New alliance forms to address desperate koala situation in Victoria

Victorian koala in water heatwave

Press release, for release 3 May 2023

New alliance forms to address desperate koala situation in Victoria

Koala Alliance Victoria: an alliance of koala protection groups, will launch on 3 May, Wild Koala Day, to speak out for Victoria’s imperilled koalas. The alliance was formed by Janine Duffy, Jessica Robertson, and Melinda Darer.

The alliance has formed because Victoria is a hell-zone for Koalas, and it’s getting worse.

Founding member of the alliance Janine Duffy said that in Victoria, Koalas are either being deliberately killed by the Department of Energy, Environment & Climate Action (DEECA) in one area, or they are being ignored as they slip into local extinction in another area.

“A koala living in the south-west is likely to have all her habitat cut down around her, or she might have her tree cut down while she’s still in it, and have her body bulldozed,” said Duffy.

“A koala living in the You Yangs is likely to die from drought or a heatwave, or of starvation as her trees die due to climate change,” she said.

“A koala living in Mallacoota is lucky to have survived the 2019-2020 megafires, and is likely to face another one in her lifetime.”

“Despite being found to be the most genetically-diverse & robust of Australia’s koalas & potentially the key to securing a future for other compromised gene pools, the south Gippsland koala in the Strzeleckis receives no special protection, and is still likely to have her forest cut down by VicForests & the tax payer is footing the bill ($54million 2021-2022) for this to happen. We only have 1500-2000 of these guys left & they face losing their home so it can be pulped & sent overseas! It’s simply madness,” said Melinda Darer of Friends of Alberton West.

“On the Mornington Peninsula, a koala is likely to die from starvation as her trees are cut down due to lax planning laws. As a direct result, she then experiences stress-induced illness, often resulting in unnecessary suffering and death.,” said Belinda Eden of Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation.

Despite all these threats, the Victorian government and DEECA still claim that koalas in Victoria are ‘thriving and abundant’ based on a new modelling technique. Not based on actual counts, the estimate is based on a computer model.

“We’d like to know how the government knows that koalas are ‘abundant’ – where is this data coming from? I know that in my area there has not been any research or monitoring on koala abundance for many decades. It puzzles me why more do not question this claim of abundance, when everyone I speak to says the same thing, where have all the koalas gone?” said Jessica Robertson, Ballarat Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation.

“The government is blinded by this fantasy of koala overabundance. As a result, calls from koala carers & rescuers, researchers and citizen science groups to investigate shocking koala declines go unseen and unheard,” said Duffy.

“We couldn’t stand it any longer: there has to be a group to investigate and rebut Victorian government misinformation about koalas,” she said.

“For example, there’s the Victorian Koala Management Strategy – 19 years late, and we’re still waiting.”

“The draft Victorian Koala Management Strategy is indefensible – it’s weak, bitter, defensive, stingy about costs, and obsessed with koala overpopulation, but still manages to fail to offer any solutions.”

“If we don’t act, koalas in Victoria will disappear without even getting onto the endangered list”

Koala Alliance Victoria will launch on 3 May, Wild Koala Day.

The alliance’s first investigation into the Victorian Koala Management Strategy can be found here:


High resolution images can be found here –

Please note, images are licensed for use for this story only. Please seek permission to use for any other purpose.

Interviews available on request.  


About Koala Alliance Victoria
Koala Alliance Victoria is a working group of organisations and individuals involved with koala welfare in Victoria, with a mission to improve the conservation and protection of koalas in Victoria. The alliance is formed by Koala Clancy Foundation, Ballarat Wildlife Rehabilitation & Conservation, Friends of Alberton West, Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation, and Mel & the Menagerie.


Media Contacts:

Janine Duffy   Ph: 0427 808 747    Email:

Jessica Robertson Ph: 0409 211 194 Email:

Melinda Darer Ph: 0410 219 104 Email:

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