Save The Koala Habitat in Port Stephens

August 27, 2020

I’ve been a proud Duns Creek resident since 2013. Part of the appeal of living here is being surrounded by gorgeous land. My neighbours are tall, billowing trees and cute fluffy koalas. I fall asleep to the sound of trees flapping in the wind, koalas grunting, and owls hooting. 

Born and bred in Sydney I am very aware of how lucky I am to live on 48 acres (green outline below) and even more so as we recently purchased an adjoining property (red outline). 

This new acquired 500-acre property can not be developed and is an established biobank, ensuring the biodiversity is protected and managed forever. We see ourselves as the custodians of the land overseeing the protection of prime flora and fauna habitat.

In less than 2 weeks the Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environmentwill decide ifthe local quarry (ugly brown blob below our property) can expand to decimate 52 hectares of vital koala habitat with a bulldozer. 

 

Arial View of Duns Creek Port Stephens

 

The quarry doesn’t personally affect our family though my heart is breaking over this. After losing so many koalas (30,000 to be exact!) during the bushfires this year, we simply can’t lose anymore. Local residents are fighting to stop this.  The decision will be made on 8th September. 

If we can get enough warriors to email the government and pledge to stop this, we may just save the land and more importantly, save the koala habitat. 

If you have a spare few minutes, I’d be so thankful if you could email  The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment to express your concern. I’ve added an email template below that you can simply copy and paste into the contact form. 

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***TO MINISTER LEY***

I am writing to you as a concerned resident of Brandy Hill and a very concerned caretaker of flora and fauna. I understand the decision as to whether the expansion of the Brandy Hill Quarry goes ahead is now ultimately upon your shoulders and on September 8th, you will make this decision. A decision that, should you choose, will see the destruction of 52 hectares of core koala habitat in Port Stephens.

As you know, Australia tragically lost more than 30,000 koalas in the 2019-2020 bush fires, thankfully Port Stephens remains unscathed. Did you know, Port Stephens is home to one of the last remaining koala populations on the east coast of Australia. We can not afford to lose any more!

Shockingly to us all, the Brandy Hill Quarry expansion was approved by the NSW Independent Planning Commission just two weeks after a Parliamentary inquiry found koalas would be extinct by 2050 unless there is urgent Government intervention to prevent habitat loss.

There is now strong evidence that we have breeding females and an active core colony within and around the proposed expansion area. The number one threat to the koala and other wildlife is destruction and fragmentation of habitat. The IPC based their determination on a koala survey provided by the applicant from five, yes five years ago, dated 2015 – how can this be acceptable or even legal?

At least, prior to your decision, an updated independent koala survey should be completed.

I wish you well in your decision and pray you will let common sense prevail.

Thank you for your time.

Regards,

 

#savePortStephenskoalas 

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If you have more than a couple of minutes, I’ve gathered the key contacts in this decision-making process along with a few media outlets and compiled an email to send them below: 

 

***TO ALL OTHERS***

I am writing to you as a concerned resident of Brandy Hill and a very concerned caretaker of flora and fauna. I understand the decision as to whether the expansion of the Brandy Hill Quarry goes ahead is now ultimately upon the shoulders of The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment and on September 8th she will make that decision. A decision should she choose, will see the destruction of 52 hectares of core breeding koala habitat in Brandy Hill, Port Stephens, NSW.

Australia tragically lost more than 33,000 koalas in the 2019-2020 bush fires, thankfully Port Stephens remained unscathed. Do you know Port Stephens is home to one of the last remaining koala populations on the east coast of Australia? With the recent devastating bush fires, years of drought and continual habitat clearing, we must not allow this clearing to occur.

Shockingly to us all, the Brandy Hill Quarry expansion was approved by the NSW Independent Planning Commission just two weeks after a year-long Parliamentary inquiry found koalas would be extinct by 2050 unless there is urgent Government intervention to prevent habitat loss. In response to the report, The Hon. Matt Keen MP, Minister for Energy and Environment stated:

  • "Last season's bushfires had a devastating impact on our koala population";
  • "Koalas are an iconic Australian animal recognised the world over and a national treasure which we will do everything we can to protect for future generations.”; and
  • “I am looking forward to reviewing the report, and seeing what further can be done to protect this Australian icon."

The IPC based their determination on a koala survey provided by the applicant from five, yes five years ago, dated 2015 – how can this be acceptable or even legal? There is now strong evidence we have breeding females and an active core colony within and around the proposed expansion area. As stated in the report, the number one threat to the koala and other wildlife is destruction and fragmentation of habitat. At least, prior to this decision, an updated independent koala survey of the area should be completed?

The full report can be found here:https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/…/Koala%20populations%20a…

This is not a political matter - it is a matter of saving our koala habitat. I urge you to review this report and support The Hon. Sussan Ley MP in being brave enough to stand up for our environment and stop this destruction of core breeding Koala habitat – please, make a difference for our future generations.

Thank you for your time.

Kind Regards

 

#savePortStephenskoalas

cc The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment 

 

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FEDERAL CONTACTS:

The Hon. Robert Stokes MP, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces 

https://www.nsw.gov.au/nsw-government/ministers/minister-for-planning-and-public-spaces

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister 

https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm

The Hon. Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister 

https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Contact_Senator_or_Member?MPID=219646

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, Leader of the Government in the Senate

https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Contact_Senator_or_Member?MPID=HDA

Adam Bandt, Leader of the Australian Greens

adam.bandt.mp@aph.gov.au

Dr Mehreen Faruqi, Greens Senator for NSW

senator.faruqi@aph.gov.au

The Hon. Anthony Albanese MP, Leader of the Opposition

a.albanese.mp@aph.gov.au

The Hon. Richard Marles MP, Deputy Leader of the Opposition

https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Contact_Senator_or_Member?MPID=HWQ

Senator the Hon. Penny Wong, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Contact_Senator_or_Member?MPID=00AOU

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Australia’s Head of State and His Excellency General the Hon. David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

https://www.gg.gov.au/office-official-secretary-governor-general/email-contacts

 

STATE CONTACTS:

The Hon. Matt Keen MP, Minister for Energy and Environment

https://mattkean.com.au/contact-matt-kean-mp

The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of NSW

https://www.nsw.gov.au/premier-of-nsw/contact-premier

Cate Faehrmann, Greens Member of the NSW Legislative Council

cate.faehrmann@parliament.nsw.gov.au

David Shoebridge, Greens Member of the NSW Legislative Council

david.shoebridge@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Abigail Boyd, Greens Member of the NSW Legislative Council

abigail.boyd@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Jodi McKay MP, NSW Labor Leader

strathfield@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Kate Washington MP, Shadow Minister for Environment & Heritage and Member for Port Stephens

portstephens@parliament.nsw.gov.au

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

A Current Affair https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/tell-us-your-story

The Today Show https://9now.nine.com.au/today/tell-your-story

7:30 Report https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/contact-us/

Sky News https://more.skynews.com.au/yoursay-contact-sky-news/

 

Thank you, lovely humans. Together, we can fight this. 

Yours in saving the koalas,

Nae x

 


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