Protecting Koalas or not? The New South Wales state government is currently in crisis. The policy to protect the koalas in the region has received criticism and support within the government. In Australia the issue is called the koala war.
The National Party now threatens to take steps if the policy is not changed. For example, the party no longer wants to support government legislation and its legislators will no longer sit in the state parliament with the Liberal Party. The party leader announced this earlier today.
This means that the Liberal Party of Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian is currently a minority government until the situation is resolved. Berejiklian has said that she will strip the ministers of their portfolio if they dont change their mind.
The dispute concerns the governments State Environmental Planning Policy, which was amended by law in December. The policy aims to better protect the koalas habitats. Research shows that without such protection koalas will be extinct in New South Wales by 2050. Also, last summers forest fires in the area probably killed 3 billion animals, including many koalas.
According to the leader of the National Party, John Barilaro, the protection policy goes too far. According to Barilaro, it imposes onerous conditions on landowners about how they manage their land.
“We think the policy is a way to purify the regions, attack landowners property rights and do nothing to support the koalas.” He also says hes “not anti-koala”. “The National Party stands for a thriving koala population. We actually want the population to double.”
The Liberal Party disagrees with Barilaros statements and calls the measures necessary. The party leader of the Greens, Adam Bandt, twittered that the National Party “blows up the government because they want rogue landowners to be able to kill more koalas” According to some conservationists, the current policy does not yet do enough to protect the koalas.
Prime Minister Berejiklian has given the National Party an ultimatum: if the party does not withdraw the threat by Friday morning, the prime minister will replace the ministers