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Protecting koalas should be government priority

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23 July 2013 Media Release Protecting koalas should be government priority

Commenting on last night's ABC 7.30 report about the deaths of many koalas in timber plantations, Greens spokesperson for animal welfare Senator Lee Rhiannon has called on state and federal governments to work together to better protect koalas.

"The logging industry urgently needs harvesting protocols to ensure trees are cut with minimum impact on koalas, and koala habitat is protected so healthy populations are easily able to move across the landscape," Senator Rhiannon said.

"I call on government ministers to stop regarding koalas as pests and show leadership to provide the protection Australians expect koalas to be given.

"I congratulate the workers with logging and timber companies who rang the alarm bells about the distressing koala deaths and injuries that they were witnessing.

"Reports about koalas with broken limbs, impact wounds, broken backs, severed limbs and dead mothers with joeys still alive are very disturbing.

"In April 2012 the federal government listed koala populations in NSW, Queensland and the ACT as a threatened species. The Australian Greens are calling for this listing to be extended to cover Victoria where these logging operations are being carried out.

"Australians care deeply about the welfare of animals and they expect state and federal governments to protect koalas," said Senator Rhiannon.

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