Today Australian Greens Senators Bob Brown and Larissa Waters are releasing their Koala Protection Bill which will be introduced into the Senate in June.
"The purpose of the Bill is to make sure koalas, as an iconic Australian species and of significant cultural heritage, have special protection," said Senator Brown.
The Bill makes it unlawful to kill, harm or otherwise deal with a koala anywhere is Australia and further makes it an offence to destroy or harm koala habitat in areas where the koala has been listed as threatened by the Environment Minster.
"The Bill is in the spirit of the US law of 1940 which brought the American Bald Eagle, an iconic species, back from the brink of extinction by protecting it from human predators," said Senator Bob Brown.
"The Senate Inquiry into Australia's koala population I initiated in 2010 heard evidence that koalas were fast approaching a crisis point and that we must act urgently to protect the koala across the nation."
"The recent listing of koalas by the Minister under the EPBC Act is limited to Queensland and NSW. This is not good enough. The failures of the EPBC Act over the 15 years to protect koala populations has necessitated this Bill", said Senator Brown.
"We wish to thank Deborah Tabart and her Australia Koala Foundation for their efforts over decades to protect the koala. There will need to be greater public and political effort in the years ahead if we are to stop this magnificent creature joining the other 18 Australian mammals gone to extinction since 1788,' concluded Senator Brown.
Please see here for a recent opinion piece on this issue from Senator Brown published in the Sydney Morning Herald.