Recently, Portfolio Committee 7 inquiring into koala populations and their habitat in New South Wales took a field trip with the morning was spent tracking through Gilead, Beulah and Appin which was followed by public hearings at Campbelltown Arts Centre. 

This inquiry was self-referred on 20 June 2019.

The Committee Membership is: 

Committee membership
Ms Cate Faehrmann MLC The Greens (Chair)
Hon Mark Pearson MLC Animal Justice Party (Deputy Chair)
Hon Mark Buttigieg MLC Australian Labor Party
Hon Catherine Cusack MLC Liberal Party
Hon Ben Franklin MLC The Nationals
Hon Shayne Mallard MLC Liberal Party
Hon Penny Sharpe MLC Australian Labor Party

The terms of reference are as follows: 

1. That Portfolio Committee No. 7 – Planning and Environment inquire into and report on actions,
policies and funding by government to ensure healthy, sustainable koala populations and habitat in
New South Wales, and in particular:

(a) the status of koala populations and koala habitat in New South Wales, including trends, key
threats, resource availability, adequacy of protections and areas for further research,
(b) the impacts on koalas and koala habitat from:

(i) the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals and Regional Forest

(ii) the Private Native Forestry Code of Practice,

(iii) the old growth forest remapping and rezoning program,

(iv) the 2016 land management reforms, including the Local Land Services Amendment
Act 2016 and associated regulations and codes

(c) the effectiveness of State Environmental Planning Policy 44 - Koala Habitat Protection, the
NSW Koala Strategy and the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, including the threatened
species provisions and associated regulations, in protecting koala habitat and responding to
key threats,

(d) identification of key areas of koala habitat on private and public land that should be
protected, including areas currently at risk of logging or clearing, and the likely impacts of
climate change on koalas and koala distribution,

(e) the environmental, social and economic impacts of establishing new protected areas to
conserve koala habitat, including national parks, and

(f) any other related matter.

2. That the committee report by 15 June 2020. 

The inquiry will continue over the following months with several more hearings and site visits. If you have any questions relating to this inquiry please do not hesitate to contact me.