Koalas 'lose out' under new bill in NSW

Some agricultural developers would be exempt from some koala protection laws in NSW under a new bill
Some agricultural developers would be exempt from some koala protection laws in NSW under a new bill

Large-scale agricultural businesses and property developers would be exempt from some koala protection laws in a new proposal before NSW parliament this week, an environmental conservation group says.

The Nature Conservation Council is calling on state members of parliament to vote down the Local Land Services Amendment Bill, saying it prevents further expansion of koala habitat protections into private farmland.

Nature Conservation Council chief executive Chris Gambian said the bill meant property developers could bulldoze koala habitats without approval.

"Nothing in this bill helps ensure koalas survive beyond 2050," Mr Gambian said in a statement.

"Basically the Nationals gave the Liberals a choice between saving the Coalition or saving the koala and they chose themselves."

He said supporting farmers was importing and could be implemented in other ways including funding the cost for small family farms to be surveyed properly.

"The answer is not trashing the Koala regulations."

In September NSW Nationals leader and deputy premier John Barilaro threatened to blow up the coalition government after demanding concessions for rural property owners regarding protected koala habitats.

A month later amendments were made to the State Environmental Planning Policy, which Premier Gladys Berejiklian described as a balanced outcome, but environmentalists said watered down koala protections.

Australian Associated Press