Australian Greens Senator for NSW, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has visited Port Macquarie. The Senator, who formerly lived and worked in Port Macquarie, has visited the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and called for more support for communities and firefighters.
Senator Faruqi said:
“Port Macquarie is my second home and my heart really goes out to the community who have suffered so much in and around the mid-north coast. We are seeing an unprecedented tragedy that has destroyed so much in the community and in the environment.
“Bush fires have been raging for weeks already and it’s just the start of summer. Everyone from scientists to firefighters are pointing to the climate crisis making bushfires more dangerous each year.
“This is a national emergency but the lack of action by the Federal and State Governments has rightly frustrated the community. Firefighters are being pushed to the brink and the Liberal-National Government’s is being miserly. The community is looking for support and protection which the government must provide.
“It is clear that koala populations already under extreme stress from development, clearing and disease have been decimated. Experts are saying that one third of the North Coasts koala habitat has been destroyed and 2,000 koalas have died. We need urgent action to support wildlife, including an immediate moratorium on clearing koala habitat and a suspension of native forest logging.
“It is incredible that the koala hospital has received support from across Australia and the world, but it’s not okay for vital community services to rely on volunteers and private donations to operate. The Government needs to invest properly in saving koalas from extinction.
“I want to give my deepest thanks to everyone for their support and for working so hard to protect our communities and our environment, from the volunteer firefighters to park rangers and wildlife carers.
“What we are experiencing is only going to get worse if we don't take strong climate action now. The Prime Minister should save his thoughts and prayers and instead show some support for communities and the environment by acting on the climate crisis, including by phasing out coal and unlocking the opportunities of a renewable energy economy,” she concluded.