The world’s leading organisation wholly dedicated to saving the Koala, the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF), has extended an invitation to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to meet, following his surprise announcement of funds over the weekend. AKF has not been consulted by the Federal Government whatsoever in the lead up to this announcement, despite many attempts to pass on invaluable mapping, population research and carefully considered solutions developed over the space of three decades.
AKF has welcomed the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement of the truly dire state of the Koala. However, AKF Chair Deborah Tabart OAM notes that the species cannot be saved without detailed mapping – something that AKF has spent over 30 years developing.
“Posing with a cuddly Koala and announcing a big chunk of money is undeniably a vote winner. But, if the Federal Government is serious about saving the species, their splash of cash needs to be put a horse in front of the cart – and that is decent mapping to know where the Koalas are or could be,” Deborah said.
“For over three decades, AKF has engaged the very best scientific minds to develop detailed habitat mapping, population data and carefully considered solutions to save the Koala, including their Koala Kiss Project aimed at connecting fragmented habitat.
Despite many attempts to pass along this invaluable research to Minister Ley and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, AKF has been met with little more than a ‘standard response’ letter. I actually handed our maps to Minister Ley in Canberra just after the bushfires and we have heard nothing from her since,” said Tabart.
“These funds are generous, but the detail is lacking. If we could turn back time, the solution would have been ‘don’t destroy Koala habitat in the first place’. But, now that the damage has been done, we can only hope Federal Government has enough sense to use this huge allocation of tax payer funds to implement actual solutions, not tokenistic gestures,” Deborah said.
“AKF’s door is always open. We wait with bated breath that the Prime Minister and Minister Ley accept our invitation to sit down and be informed by 3 decades of expertise into saving the Koala. We will have a couple of chairs waiting with their names on them!”
For further information on the Australian Koala Foundation’s research, visit savethekoala.com