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Carbon credits no excuse for NSW Government to stall on saving koalas

The Australia Institute 3 mins read

Media release | Tuesday, 9 April 2024

A new video report from the Australia Institute shines a light on the NSW Government’s revelation that it is delaying the protection of koala habitat in the state until a system is in place to exploit native forests for carbon offsets.

The video report's release comes as over 100 political leaders, academics, environment and climate experts sign an open letter calling on NSW Premier Chris Minns to end all logging in public native forests and immediately gazette the proposed Great Koala National Park as promised.

Signatories to the open letter include Dr John Hewson AM, Former Leader of the Opposition, Bernie Fraser, Former Governor of the Reserve Bank and Geoff Cousins, Former President of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

The video report has been produced by Walkley Award-winner and former senior ABC journalist Stephen Long, Senior Fellow and Contributing Editor at the Australia Institute.

Key findings

  • A new video report from The Australia Institute exposes how the NSW Government is stalling on saving koalas and gazetting the national park in hope of making money from the forest by selling carbon offsets to polluters.

  • The NSW Government committed to the Great Koala National Park as a 2015 election promise.

  • A broad coalition have signed an open letter calling on the NSW Government to:

    • cease all logging in public native forest and koala habitat

    • gazette the boundaries of the proposed Great Koala National Park, as promised

    • abandon plans to develop carbon offsets associated with NSW forests

  • Australia Institute Research shows seven in ten Australians (69%) support an end to native forest logging, including 70% of NSW voters.

“The NSW Government came to power with a policy to create a vast new national park and curtail logging. It is now seeking to financialise native forests through the creation of carbon credits, delaying protection to vital koala habitats,” said Stephen Long, Senior Fellow and Contributing Editor at the Australia Institute.

“Carbon credits could allow for the continuation of expansion of greenhouse gas emissions that pose an existential threat to the forests, to the koalas and to other endangered species.

“Australia Institute research has consistently identified serious issues with the integrity of carbon credits and their use as offsets.

“There are a thousand good reasons to protect koalas and forest biodiversity. Their value does not lie in their capacity to legitimise big polluters to continue to pollute.”

“The Minns Government must see from the outcome of its Koala Summit that a powerful coalition of forces is building quickly to achieve an immediate halt to all logging in areas of native forests that may be part of the proposed Great Koala National Park, and then a complete cessation of logging in all native forests in NSW. More announcements will come shortly regarding this coalition,” said Geoff Cousins, Former President of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

“The government needs to take the initiative and act to protect the habitat and food source of these endangered animals as it promised to do. Time has run out.”

“We are coming out of an era where we haven’t been able to see the forests for the wood. This proposal is taking us into an era where we don’t see the forests for the carbon,” said veteran forests campaigner Susie Russell, who features in Mr Long’s report.

“We need to recognise that the benefits the forests provide are priceless. We don’t need to monetise the carbon in the forests, we just need to stop the logging.”

“The logging industry can see the writing on the wall, and is now trying to argue that carbon credits units will make their industry more sustainable. We should see this for the spin it is,” said Virginia Young from Wilderness Australia.

Watch Now: The Carbon Credit Grift Destroying Koala Habitat

Editors: Full video report, video and audio excerpts of the report are available here.

Attached: Polling Research - Native Forest Logging

The Australia Institute is a member of the Australian Polling Council. The polling methodology, long disclosure statement and margin of error for polling questions are included in the appendix of the report.

Contact details:

Georgie Moore
0477 779 928


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