Corruption and the incredible – where koalas fit in

Within days of a Liberal government being elected Tasmania, apparently determined to exclude conservation groups from further input into forestry issues, corruption hearings in NSW are focusing on the NSW and national Liberals, regarding deals with Sydney Water. Those under investigation, now include federal liberal Senator Auther Sinodinos, a man described by one colleague as having ‘incredible integrity’. Apparently, those being investigated had made an anonymous complaint alleging a Sydney Water employee was a corrupt person. The employee thought they hiding something.

Speaking again on ABC local radio this week was Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s hand selected Forest Advisory Council co-chair Rob de Fegely. It seems Mr de Fegely had been down to the coast, speaking to forestry and the industry, as part of formalizing the end of ‘green ideology’. He was enthusiastic about the growth of trees in Glenbog State Forest, suggesting it is a fine example of sustainable forestry.

There is some agreement in the conservation movement as Heather Kenway of the South East Region Conservation Alliance recently said ” We need to leave NSW native forests in the ground to regrow and recover, switch to plantations for our timber needs, and formulate an energy plan for NSW that does not include ‘Dead Koala Power’ “.

glenbog & kra

Mr de Fegely lives in Bombala, indicated in the bottom left of the map above, part of the south eastern highlands Bio-region (hatched area) and the major road, travelling up or down to the coastal south east corner bioregion, goes through Glenbog SF. However, as indicated, most of Glenbog SF is not in the south east corner bioregion.

Also indicated on the map is the general area where the NSW government were, by now, supposed to have translocated koalas from Victoria, as part of the $3.4 million Koala corridors and core habitat project. Interestingly, and apart from last year’s FOI documents, the last community newsletter from this project, dated February 2013, remains exclusively available on SERCA’s website.

The NPWS have recently start fuel reduction burning in forests adjacent to the koala release area. While it couldn’t be said the burning is a secret, what’s going on with the koala project clearly is, and there is the other issue, Bellminers.  According the Priority Action Statement, areas subject to BMAD in National Parks are supposed to be mapped.

So I wonder, if there are Bellminer colonies and translocated koalas, whether the OE&H believe, like forestry, burning these areas represents ‘best practise management’, for both species. That would be really incredible.

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