Tamara Smith MP, Member for Ballina, has welcomed the news that National Parks and Wildlife Service has acquired 37 hectares of land adjoining the Billinudgel Nature Reserve.
This land will be added to Billinudgel Nature reserve hence improving the resilience of the rainforest and coastal heathland plant communities. The addition will also consolidate vegetation links between Billinudgel Nature Reserve, the Tweed Valley Way and the Pacific Highway.
“I welcome any efforts to protect habitat for threatened flora and fauna species in our region. This move will protect habitat such as the Common Blossom-bat, Comb-crested Jacana and Davidson’s Plum, as well as the threatened Tweed koala,” Ms Smith said.
“Given that we live in one of the most biodiversity rich areas of the world, this addition to our National Park estate and further protection for our natural heritage is very welcome.
“An addition of 37 hectares of National Park estate in our region is not insignificant but as long as the Minister for the Environment, Matt Kean, insists on logging native forests, allowing core koala habitat to be destroyed en masse on rural land across the state and supporting new coal, National Parks are simply trophy cabinets.
“It is definitely a case of the left hand at odds with the right hand when it comes to the management of the environment by the Liberals and Nationals in NSW. On the one hand the Minister says he wants to double koala populations, expand National Parks and end the expansion of coal mining in the State. On the other hand he is colluding with the Nationals and the right wing of his party to strip protections for koalas on rural land, log our native forests and expand coal mining.
“The employment of Malcolm Turnbull to oversee a complete transition to renewables and carbon neutrality in NSW was life-affirming. Sacking him a week later because the Murdoch press equates action on climate change with the end of capitalism was sickening to watch,” Ms Smith said.
“Political responses to Covid-19 have shown us a different way of doing politics – a way that has allowed the good of the whole to trump the vested interests of the few. We must demand this approach when it comes to slowing global warming and protecting our endangered species.”