Mapping The Great Koala National Park

Opinion: Gordon Wilson is a freelance political journalist who often writes in Australian Rural and Regional News.

Mon 08 May 23


The NSW National Parks Association has advocated for a Great Koala National Park on the NSW North Coast for many years. This is a bid to stop the selective harvesting of native forests in state forests on a rotational basis.

The NSW ALP promised to create this park over eight years ago, although the promise has been through several iterations. The most recent is that there will be further studies and no net loss of harvestable timbers. 

The policy objective is to link up native forests to ensure koalas have native forest corridors.

However, as Mark Twain put it, “never let the facts get in the way of a good story”.

The facts about native forests and koalas have been known for about 30 years or more.

The NSW Public Service has landform data that can be placed on maps with the possibility to superimpose other data on the same map with great accuracy. The benefit of living in a digital age.

When current national parks, reserves, Crown native forests and the proposed Great National Park area are all placed onto the one map (using NSW National Parks Association maps), the result is extraordinary in one way and in another not so surprising.

Within the areas that the NSW National Parks Association and other environmental groups claim is state forest available for harvest, are areas that are unavailable to provide timber supply.  It is ‘Protected State Forest’’ and comprises 76.5% of the area.

The mapping reveals that this ‘unavailable land’ provides corridors of native forest across state forests that connect to national parks – the stated aim of the current Minister for the Environment for the koala park.

The objective for the park already exists – and has for 30 years or more – but is not acknowledged by the supporters of the koala park the ALP or the Coalition.

It appears that the Department of Primary Industries has not seen it appropriate to brief the former NSW government or the current Labor government, on this issue or has been blocked from doing so.

Last week Gordon Wilson uncovered some of the challenges and obstructions around NSW forestry policy.

The NSW National Parks Associations and the environmental NGOs have seemingly never sought to purchase this spatial mapping.  If they have, they are silent on what the mapping discloses.  

Of course, these organisations are still out seeking funds to save the koala and to create the Great Koala National Park.

Academics are still taking money for ‘research’ papers on biodiversity issues which include the koala and the need to establish the park and to ‘stop native forest deforestation’.

Of course, this form of land clearing in state native forests is prohibited by NSW government legislation, and Forestry Corporation of NSW has never been prosecuted for ‘land clearing’ of native forests.

This fact has not stopped the soliciting of donations to stop deforestation or land clearing of NSW native forests.  

These paid donations are made on a misleading premise, but there are no laws against this in New South Wales.

As they say today: ‘go figure’.



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