It was really very frustrating to watch the Four Corners documentary last night. Frustrating because only the so-called experts were interviewed and their expertise deserved much closer questioning.
For starters, there was no explanation at all about the role that koalas play in the forest ecosystem or the importance of koalas being left in the area where they were born.
If this knowledge had been aired, then the next question would be – What government in its right mind would allow the translocation of hundreds of koalas ?
Some of the so-called experts are former employees of a well known Foundation which is a great friend of developers. How they have the gall to appear on TV as concerned scientists is astonishing.
Then there was the footage of koalas being mauled by tourists in wildlife parks. Day after day, passed from one human to another, like some kind of wind up toy. A practice that brings in lots of money to the parks and does nothing for koalas.
There was no recognition of the incredible role that grass roots wildlife carers have played in not only caring for these beautiful animals but lobbying the Senate Hearing on Koalas and demanding that the animals be listed under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act. Without the care which Friends of the Koala in Lismore, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and other equally important community organisations, the koalas would be in much greater trouble.
Tony Burke must practice hard trying to look concerned. The Federal government has known since l998 when Australians for Animals succeeded in listing the Koala under the US Endangered Species Act that the Koalas were in big trouble. Yet last night all Burke could do was blame the states. That’s what politicians in Australia do, they blame each other and nothing gets done.
No solutions were offered by Four Corners. No hard questions were asked of the politicians or the scientists. No lawyers were questioned about what the listing of threatened under the EPBC Act means ( not much). Instead, the viewer was left with a disastrous outcome and no guidance or action.
What is needed is a string of wildlife hospitals which combine rehab centres and sanctuaries in koala areas along the eastern seabord. In Victoria, there needs to be an urgent investigation into the genetic inbreeding and what solutions might be available.
Koala habitat MUST BE PROTECTED.
As an indication of how little importance this issue has in the mainstream, not one major paper today reported anything about the documentary or the plight of the Koala.
If you do care about ensuring this exquisite critter’s survival, go to the websites for the Koala hospital at Port Macquarie.
The folks there do a fantastic job and funds are always needed. Donate to your local wildlife carers and find out where to plant trees. Protect known koala habitat in your area and ensure your local Council has a proper koala management plan.
As with all Australian media, getting the true story and the depth of the environmental problems which this country faces is not easy. Information is quarantined and the tragic destruction of Australia’s unique wildlife is kept under wraps or given a quick look which in no way reveals the real problems.