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Timber worker says finding dead koalas is 'a daily thing' in TV report claiming Victorian logging is wiping the animal out
It was revealed this July that koalas in western Victoria were routinely being killed and have been suffering graphic injuries such as torn-off limbs due to the felling of plantation forests where they occasionally dwell.
Evidence of the long-standing failure to properly protect the iconic Australian marsupials, was never more evident in a report for tv which showed koalas, including babies, lying dead on the floor of a cleared forest.
The Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (VAFI) has put some guidelines in place, but they are clearly not enough. This seems to be because they seem to be under the impression that it is not a big problem at all. Stating that “We don’t want to see any koalas hurt. One koala hurt is too many, although we understand it’s only a relatively small number that have been killed.”
This is contrary to what an anonymous timber worker said. He said that finding dead koalas was "like a daily thing. Sometimes a couple every hour. Sometimes just one a day. You'd normally come across them on the ground already dead or pretty badly injured."
The report featured claims that large numbers of koalas are being wiped out in Victoria, in large part due to logging practices in the south-west of the state.
To be fair, The Victorian Association of Forest Industries has now released a new set of guidelines. The guidelines require that plantation managers conduct pre-harvest surveys to estimate koala populations and mark trees where the marsupials are perching. A minimum of five trees that are immediately neighboring to a koala-dwelling tree must then be preserved.
The problem is that his leaves all the monitoring of koala populations, and the subsequent reporting of incidents to be conducted entirely to the forestry industry.
This is a conflict of interest, why would they give the real statistics if it means a dent in profits?
It is also a little alarming when VAFI say things like “There’s an overpopulation of koalas in Victoria.” Does this mean that Koalas do not get the protection they deserve because they are considered a pest?
Come on Victoria, you can do better than this. By signing this I am urging you to rethink these week policies and to make a statement. Victoria cares, Victoria will set an example.
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