Saving our native wildlife and habitats before we lose it all.

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The incessant and growing pressure on our natural environment and our native wildlife populations through the massive scale of habitat destruction through logging, land development and mining has reached a critical juncture. The weakening of legislative protection for native forests and other habitats and native fauna in combination with Government/Council policies and incentives to further increase commercial development on the pretext of stimulating more jobs and economic growth has put us on a collision course for a most disastrous ecological outcome. Australia's record on species extinction attests to our failings over time to give our unique natural heritage respect and due consideration. 

With the incontrovertible evidence of the severe threat to the survival of our native species, including our iconic koala, I firmly believe that we can no longer, as a community, simply accept this as an acceptable outcome, nor that our elected representatives in Councils, State and Federal Government should dismiss community concerns about rampant, unaccountable and destructive land clearing and wildlife decimation. 

The time is now to challenge long-held assumptions regarding the inevitability of habitat destruction as a necessary sacrifice for economic development. We like to wear the label of the 'clever country', and Queensland has a longstanding claim to being the Smart State, but these labels ring hollow when overwhelming evidence to the contrary exists. Surely with the intelligence, creativity and innovative spirit we consider quintessentially Australian qualities, we can develop much smarter solutions that support and stimulate a healthy, self-sustaining and ecologically-attuned Australia rather than continually resort to the policies and practices that will only accelerate the demise of our natural areas and unique native wildlife. 

It is our collective responsibility to be stewards for the future, ensuring that the Australia that we leave for our children and their children is one that truly values and protects the lands, waters and forests that we live and play in, and provides legislative protection, policies and a deep-seated commitment to our native animals. This must be our legacy, lest we lose forever so much that makes Australia such a wonderful place to live in, for all. 

Our elected representatives are obligated to respect the mandate they have been given, to do everything in their power to ensure the Australia they leave behind is better than when they assumed this position. Respecting and protecting our natural environment will be a benefit to all, far beyond the short-term boon to a small segment of commercially-driven self-interests. A smarter and environmentally-sensitive Australia is not an unattainable fiction. We can achieve this. It will demand true commitment and the will to do what is unquestionably in the best long-term interests of this country, demonstrating to the world that Australia has evolved, emerging from its outdated and ecologically-destructive past practices. It will demand from our elected representatives the firm resolve to govern with conscience and responsibility for the future. It will require creative thinking, breaking the mold of unchallenged assumptions about ceaseless economic growth and urban development. Instead of continuing to blindly accept that job creation is only feasible in mining, logging or commercial development where our environment is always going to be primary casualty, this flawed and failed assumption offers us a clear and viable opportunity to be bold and creative in opening up new, non-destructive industries and careers that draw upon and reward the innate talents we have in this country. 

It is my steadfast desire to see an Australia that is vibrant, with ecologically buoyant natural areas populated with thriving populations of native wildlife, so our children's children will be able to enjoy and appreciate the best parts of our amazing country. The critical situation facing our native wildlife and natural areas will need broad-based support from the community and all levels of Government, transcending political divides as this dire situation cannot be successfully resolved if this remains a political football. 

I am therefore aiming through this petition to call for our elected representatives, regardless of political persuasion, to finally govern with conscience, with responsibility to this generation and the next, to be unafraid to be bold in seeking new and better ways forward, and to recognise and carry out their duty to preserve the unique natural habitats and the wildlife that depend on these natural areas for the benefit and enjoyment of all.  



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