14 December 2017
Greens NSW MP and Environment & Transport spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has visited the site for the Pacific Highway South of Ballina where huge amounts of core koala habitat have been cleared.
Dr. Faruqi said:
“It’s heartbreaking to see the bulldozers ramming their way through core Koala habitat when we know we could have had both a safer Pacific Highway and a protected koala population
“We simply have to stop treating koalas and their habitat as an inconvenience. Koalas are facing extinction across large parts of New South Wales already and the route option chosen by the NSW Government will just accelerate this process.
“From the beginning, the community have said this is the wrong route but this arrogant Government has just ploughed through come hell or high water.
I’m an engineer, so of course I agree that we need to upgrade our roads, but we don’t have to do that by destroying the environment. We can be much smarter than the NSW and Federal Government have been.
“We can’t turn back the clock on what they have done, but we can make sure as many koalas, potoroos and other animals are protected as possible. I urge the NSW Government to take this issue seriously.
“Residents are also suffering because of the failure of the NSW Government to provide effective noise mitigation measures. This is an issue that must be fixed as an urgent priority” she concluded.