Press release, for immediate release
Public Rally for Victorian Koalas at Dan Andrews Office, November 18.
The toxic attitude of the Daniel Andrews’ state government is driving koalas towards extinction, and koala advocates across the state have had enough.
At noon on Friday November 18, outside Dan Andrews electoral office in Noble Park, the group of concerned koala conservationists will make speeches to the crowd, telling heart-breaking stories of koala deaths and declines in their regions, each driven by state government policies of neglect and contempt.
The rally is co-hosted by Koala Clancy Foundation and Ballarat Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation one week before the state election, in the hope that voters will consider koalas when they vote, which might make the next government sit up and take notice.
Janine Duffy from Koala Clancy Foundation said “All over Victoria, Koalas are dying from state government inaction and neglect.”
“In Victoria’s southwest, nearly 50,000 koalas are about to die in Blue Gum plantations, and the state government has no plan to stop it.” Ms Duffy said.
“In South Gippsland, rare, genetically-distinct Strzelecki koalas are dying in state-owned logging operations,” she said.
“Everyone I speak to around Geelong, Ballarat, Inverleigh and Moorabool say the koalas have disappeared. ”
“Koalas have died by the thousands in bushfires fuelled by climate change, yet the Dan Andrews government is pushing ahead with plans to drill for gas near the Twelve Apostles.”
“If we don’t speak up now, our Victorian koalas will soon be in the same boat as NSW and Queensland – endangered. ”
Even throughout the high profile environmental catastrophes of the last decade, in which Victorian koalas became a flagship globally, the state government has not updated their Koala Management Strategy. The last strategy was written in 2004. A new strategy was promised in August 2022, but still has not been released.
Jessica Robertson from Ballarat Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation agrees that time is running out to save Victorian Koalas
“What’s really scary is: Koalas might already be endangered in Victoria and this government cannot prove that they are not, because there has not been any reliable research on this for 20 years, ” Ms Robertson said.
“And if they are endangered, how can the Victorian government sanction the deaths of 50,000 of them in Blue Gum plantations?” she said.
“The state government says there are nearly 50,000 koalas living in the Blue Gum plantations in Southwest Victoria, and all those plantations are on track to be logged. Where are those koalas going to go?”
“Those koalas are going to die, like they are dying everywhere else because there is no habitat left for them. This is a crisis and it calls for urgent action.”
Koala lovers are encouraged to attend and show support for koalas at the peaceful rally outside Daniel Andrews electoral office, 517A Princes Hwy, Noble Park on Friday November 18 at midday.
High resolution images can be found here – https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5ny33rufm3f946p/AAAahkL9V0id99atabfRAuyra?dl=0
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 Clancy Foundation
Koala Clancy Foundation plants trees for koalas, creates new habitat, educates the local and wider community, supports scientific research and advocates for protection of wild koalas and their forest habitats. The organisation has planted 89,765 koala trees beside rivers on Melbourne’s Western Plains and in East Gippsland, Victoria and plans to plant 300,000 koala trees on the Western Plains by 2030. Invasive weeds are also targeted, and Koala Clancy Foundation, in partnership with social enterprise Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours, has removed over 3.2 million Boneseed weeds from koala habitat. Koala Clancy Foundation is an independent registered charity and not for profit organisation based in Staughton Vale, near Geelong, Victoria.
About Ballarat Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation
Ballarat Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation INC (BWRAC) rehabilitates wildlife that has experienced injury or trauma and advocates to influence and protect Australia’s wildlife habitat biodiversity. We do this by providing specialised care, lobbying for policy and industry reform, undertaking research and educating the public.
Janine Duffy Ph: 0427 808 747 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Robertson Ph: 0409 211 194 Email: email@example.com