The LNP has urged the Koala Advisory Council to use its first meeting today to call on the Palaszczuk Government to reverse funding cuts to koala rescue, research and rehabilitation services.
Shadow Environment Minister David Crisafulli said the LNP had used Estimates to highlight the State Government's lack of action on koala preservation, but today's revelations of funding cuts weren't just apathy but malice in stopping programs started by the last LNP Government.
"I'm appalled that Labor is still talking about conservation after being frozen in action for four years and all while secretly cutting koala funding," Mr Crisafulli said.
"All we ever get from the Palaszczuk Government on conservation is reviews, reports and talkfests.
"Many of our koala populations are in serious danger but Labor is failing to protect our native wildlife."
The last LNP Government set aside $800,000 in grant funding for koala rescue and rehabilitation services but these programs have slowly been phased out, with Labor failing to top up the fund.
This year the Department of Environment and Science only allocated $13,981 under the scheme.
The last LNP Government also allocated $3.2 million towards koala research grants. This year the fund will only allocate $125,905 in grants.
"Labor established the Queensland Koala Expert Panel in July 2016 and it took almost two years for it to recommend urgent policy changes," Mr Crisafulli said.
"It's taken another six months for the first meeting of the new Koala Advisory Council.
"Our koala populations are dwindling while this Government is dawdling.
"Labor has never seen an LNP program it didn't want to cut – koalas are just collateral damage."
Source: Department of Environment and Science program funding 2018/19 https://data.qld.gov.au/dataset/des-queensland-government-investment-portal-qgip/resource/d28fa412-29a2-4df5-b881-941e3297597f