Save the Animals, Unless It’s for Wind Farms

It has been revealed that a Queensland wind farm project is euthanising koalas to make way for wind turbines.
Save the Animals, Unless It’s for Wind Farms
Taralga Wind Farm over farmland in Taralga, New South Wales, Australia on Aug. 31, 2015. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Nicole James
During a 2GB radio interview discussing Queensland’s Clarke Creek wind farm project, Nationals MP Keith Pitt said that the environmental controls for the project outlined how to get rid of any small animals injured by wind turbines, and that was by euthanising them with a “sharp blow with a hammer to the skull.”

Clarke Creek is part of the Clarke-Connors Range which is home to one of the most significant koala populations in the Queensland region.

The environment impact statement for the project (pdf) states that, “Euthanasia will be conducted using blunt force trauma,” which is the primary recommended method to “humanely kill reptiles, amphibians, and small to medium-sized mammals.”

Habitat loss is one of the worst threats for koalas, and is occurring through land clearing and deforestation, which destroys vital eucalyptus tree forests that koalas depend on for their home and their food.

When their homes are destroyed, koalas are vulnerable to dogs and car accidents.

Koalas were on the brink of extinction almost a century ago when they were hunted for their furs.

Baby koala sleeping. (Illustration - Shutterstock)
Baby koala sleeping. (Illustration - Shutterstock)

“They used to skin them alive and put them back up the tree with no fur,” Deborah Tabart, a spokesman for the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF), told the ABC.

It is estimated that there are less than 64,000 koalas left in the wild in Australia but this could be as little as 38,648 according to figures from the AKF.

Their figures also show that there has been an estimated 30 percent decline in koalas across Australia between 2018 and 2021.

Koalas are now extinct in 47 electorates with only one electorate having more than 5,000 koalas. Some regions in Australia have populations as small as just five to ten koalas.

No Animals Are Safe From Renewable Energy Fad

It is not just the Clarke Creek project that is ripping up koala habitats.

Tanya Plibersek, minister for the Environment and Water, approved the Lotus Creek project which allowed the decimation of old-growth forest which contained 341 hectares of known koala habitat.

Ms. Plibersek reversed the decision made by her Coalition predecessor, Sussan Ley, who deemed the wind farm as “clearly unacceptable” in 2020. This was because of the violations of federal environmental laws and the impact that the devastating 2019 bushfires had on the koalas.

Since Annastacia Palaszcuk took office as the Labor Queensland premier with a promise to safeguard the environment along with lots of PR shots up close with cuddly koalas, almost 4,000 hectares of koala habitat have been allocated for seven wind turbine farms according to Rainforest Reserves Australia.

The organisation has also highlighted that another 6,500 hectares of endangered koala habitat is scheduled for destruction in pending proposals resulting in more than 100 square kilometres of koala habitat in Queensland due to be destroyed.

Ms. Plibersek also approved the Chalumbin wind turbine project owned by South Korean company, Ark Energy, where 844 hectares of koala habitat were identified in the original plan.

Journalist Nick Cater has been successful in drawing attention to the destruction of native wildlife here with the wind farm (whose name has been changed to Wooroora Station to help “address misunderstandings”) now only having 42 wind turbines instead of 86.

Under the original proposal, the following native animals would have lost critical habitats, including: koalas (843.81 ha); masked owls (1,026.3 ha); the northern greater glider (887.9 ha); spectacled flying fox (976.1 ha); and the magnificent broodfrog (120.5 ha).
A baby koala is seen at Wild Life Sydney Zoo in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 14, 2021. (Mark Evans/Getty Images)
A baby koala is seen at Wild Life Sydney Zoo in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 14, 2021. (Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Spinning wind turbines will also horrifically impact bats and raptors. Bats and bird-of-prey are being decimated by the wind turbines at nearby Kaban, Windy Hill, and Mount Emerald wind farms.

And just where are the Greens on this?

If you visit their website they detail “a bold plan to save the koala from extinction.” Their website states that koalas will become extinct before 2050 if urgent action isn’t taken to protect their habitat which is under threat from “logging, agriculture, mining, and development.”

Yet it seems OK to destroy koalas and other endangered species’ habitats if it is with wind farms.

It’s not just Australia’s native flora and fauna that is being butchered, it will also add a nail in the coffin to tourism and local tourism businesses.

According to Tourism Australia, nature is the number one reason why tourists travel to Australia with nature-based tourism being worth almost $20 billion per year in New South Wales (pdf).

The Australia Koala Foundation estimates the value of the koala to Australian tourism is more than $3 billion per year.

Yet killing our wild horses—the brumbies of the snowy mountains—killing birdlife, whales, dolphins, and other sea life seems to be what our government now stands for.

It makes you wonder just how much more can a koala bear.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Nicole James is a freelance journalist for The Epoch Times based in Australia. She is an award-winning short story writer, journalist, columnist, and editor. Her work has appeared in newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald, Sun-Herald, The Australian, the Sunday Times, and the Sunday Telegraph. She holds a BA Communications majoring in journalism and two post graduate degrees, one in creative writing.