Don’t Destroy Koala Habitat to Build Coal Mine


Target: New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission Chair Lynelle Briggs

Goal: Stop the destruction of the habitat of 262 koalas to build a coal mine.

A company has been given permission by the courts to destroy the habitat of 262 koalas and relocate them in order to build a coal mine in Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia. Environmentalists argue that the Planning Assessment Commission did not adequately assess if the koalas would survive if construction and relocation went ahead.

The decision to allow the $1.2 billion mine to be built by Shenhua Watermark Coal was handed down by the NSW Land and Environment Court after a case was brought forth by the local environment group Upper Mooki Landcare. Representatives from the Environmental Defender’s Office said that the NSW Planning and Threatened Species Acts have failed to protect wildlife against local extinctions.

The Koala population in Gunnedah has dropped by 70 percent in the past seven years, and estimates of the size of the remaining population varies between over 12,000 according to Shenhua and less than 800 according to other sources. The court ruled that the commission did not have to come to a decision on the success of the relocation and the survival of the koalas, but only that they consider a plan.

It is uncertain if the koalas in this region, known as the koala capital of the world, would survive the destruction of their habitat. Sign this petition and stop it from happening.


Dear Chairwoman Briggs,

The recent ruling by the court to allow a mining company to effectively eradicate the habitat of 262 koalas is appalling. If Shenhua Watermark Coal are permitted to go ahead with the construction of this coal mine in New South Wales, it could possibly mean the extinction of this group of koalas.

The Planning Assessment Commission failed to conduct a proper assessment as to the chances of these koalas’ survival. It’s hard not to be suspicious when Shenhua is placing the number of koalas remaining at 15 times higher than other estimates, and the price tag on the mine is $1.2 billion.

They have said they will try to encourage the animals to naturally move away from the area, and if that fails, they will bag and relocate them forcibly. The risks for these animals would be very high when their welfare is weighed against the financial gains the company would make.

This decision is an example of the legal system being exploited in the pursuit of profit at the cost of environmental and ecological stability. I urge you to do all you can to protect these koalas and their habitat.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Arnaud Gaillard

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  1. koala habitat first not coal mining now.

  2. “The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future – deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease.” — The World Watch Institute

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