Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon. Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Gillard Government welcomes koala inquiry report

Media release
22 September 2011

Tony Burke, Minister for the Environment, today welcomed the tabling of a Senate Committee inquiry into the Koala.

The Senate Environment and Communications committee has been conducting an inquiry into the status, health and sustainability of Australia's koala population.

Tony Burke said the Gillard Government had supported this inquiry to assess the threats to and management of koalas across the country.

"Koalas are an iconic Australian animal, they hold a special place in the hearts of Australians," Mr Burke said.

"I welcome this report which will add valuable information for the assessment of koalas as a nationally threatened species.

"I am currently considering an assessment of the koala by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee over whether or not to list the koala as a nationally threatened species.

"In making my decision, I will take into consideration the extensive assessment done by the scientific committee, the report of the Senate inquiry, and all public comments received.

"I am pleased with the work of the Committee and I will be working through their recommendations.

"Over the past 15 years, the Australian Government has provided at least $6.3 million of funding to protect the koala including over $3 million through the Australian Research Council."