Let’s have a think about this for a while:

Point 1. They ripped the guts out of our National Parks in a restructure. Towns like Bombala lost jobs as a result and we all lost good people who helped manage our National Parks.

Point 2. If we continue to buy up land for National Parks, we need to ensure that we have the resources to manage such land. Recurring budget is required.

Point 3. The firefighter in me suggests that they will allow the fuel to build without appropriate fuel management. If or when fire impacts upon that area, the koalas will be injured or killed in the process.

A typical example is what happened at Tathra.

Point 4. We are under resourced and we don’t manage our Parks very well. We don’t seem to understand the concept of COOL burning and Indigenous land management. We often acknowledge Indigenous culture at meetings and events, but words are cheap…

Perhaps we should consider handing some of our National Parks back to Indigenous control.

The original Article:

By Esther Han, February 4, 2019 — 11.52am

The NSW Government has announced it will open a new national park with a koala habitat in the Southern Highlands.

Couched as a win for koalas, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the 3680-hectare park, which will be in the north of the Goulburn electorate bordering Wollondilly, will ensure that a vital koala wilderness area is preserved.

At risk: Koala habitat has been severely eroded. Credit: Karleen Minney

“The new park we’re establishing has a unique koala habitat within it,” she said. “Koalas are an iconic species and we are acting to ensure their survival.”

The government has purchased a 2200-hectare property from a private owner that joins the southern end of Wollondilly River Nature Reserve and the northern part of Bangadilly National Park, allowing it to establish a vital corridor for koalas.

It’s understood the government bought the property Tugalong Station from the Hazlett family in the past week. The family approached the government about a sale after the government acquired another piece of land nearby.

While conservationists welcomed the news, they said the Berejiklian government had a “terrible record” when it came to creating parks and protecting koalas, which are “vulnerable to extinction”.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW pointed to an analysis by the NSW National Parks Association that found the annual rate of additions to the state’s National Parks Estate had slumped from 132,000 hectares in March 2011, when the Coalition took power, to 10,675 hectares.

“The truth is the Berejiklian government has a terrible record in this area and has actually legalised the destruction of koala habitat on a scale not seen for a generation,” said the council’s chief executive Kate Smolski.

“If the Premier is genuine about getting the koala off the extinction waiting list, she must rule out deforestation of koala habitat across the state.”

It is estimated that one-third of the koala population in NSW has disappeared in the past 20 years.

A WWF report released last year said koalas are on track to be extinct by 2050 if current land clearing rates continue.

NSW Minister for the Environment Gabriel Upton, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Lee Evans MP and Glenn Meade, Operations Manager of the National Park and Wildlife Service at the Royal National Park, south of Sydney on Monday. Credit: AAP

Labor leader Michael Daley accused the Coalition of “pretending” to be champions of the environment, with the state election just two months away.

Labor’s spokeswoman for the environment Penny Sharpe added: “The Berejiklian Government is full of environmental vandals who could not care less about the environment”.

Saul Deane from the Total Environment Centre welcomed the news but said he was more concerned about the koala colonies near Wilton and Campbelltown in south-western Sydney which are under threat as developers move in.

“The new park will do very little for these koalas whose populations are threatened by housing and residential developments,” he said.

The NSW government has purchased Tugalong Station and announced a new national park with a koala habitat. Credit: NSW Government

He said the NSW government has committed to establishing a new reserve running north to south, east of Appin Road, and the opposition has pledged the Georges River Koala National Park and the Two Rivers Koala Frontier Regional Park.

“But we need a comprehensive koala plan of management with a whole of landscape koala corridor vision implemented to secure their survival within our city,” he said.

The new park will sit in the seat of Goulburn, which the Liberals hold by a 6.6 per cent margin, bordering Willondilly. It will be 25km north-west of Bowral.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton would not reveal how much the government paid for Tugalong Station, only sharing that it had used “some” of the $20 million dedicated to buying land as part of its broader $45 million koala strategy.

A map showing the location of the new national park. Credit: NPWS

The government also announced a $150 million investment to improve access to existing national parks, including major upgrade works in Sydney’s Royal National Park and in the Blue Mountains.

It also seeks to create “new digital tools”, such as virtual tours and live-streaming cameras.

“We want people to come and enjoy them, to bring their families,” Ms Berejiklian said at Audley Weir.

Liberals promise new national park for NSW to help save koalas
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