Our Zoom meeting had 38 members and guests in audience with documentary film makers, Dr Georgia Wallace-Crabbe and Greg Miller. They are no strangers to OFF having presented their earlier much acclaimed doco – Cultivating Murder – to us some 5 years ago. Now they are taking on the plight of our officially endangered national icon – the koala – that suffered devastating loss of numbers during the fires of 2019/20.
Their film currently in production – simply called, ‘Koala’ – is uncovering if enough is being done to preserve this endangered species. They believe that this native animal is representative of a larger issue.
‘The Koala’ looks at koalas, their habitat, and the fate of this iconic marsupial in the wild. Less than 1% of koala habitat survives west of the Great Dividing Range, where colonies have been smashed by high temperatures and land-clearing for agriculture and mining. However, until recently, it was thought that Koalas would survive in the east coast bushland regions. But the mega fires, weakened environmental protection laws and the race to clear land for new housing has seen koala colonies under increasing stress.
Greg summed up that koalas were almost hunted to extinction in the 1920’s but agitation, in the USA of all places, achieved a moratorium on koala hunting and their numbers rebounded. Now with climate change increasing the frequency of wildfires and all the population pressures of expanding urban areas into koala habitat in Sydney’s southwest the state of our remaining koala populations has never been more threatened than now.
Let’s hope that this yet to be released film gathers a sizeable audience that will recognise the plight of the koala and that political will can be found to address the continued threats to its survival and that the future for the koala can rightly be assured to thrive once again.
OFF donated $200 to the production and it is recommended that members give generously as well. You can also do that here.
Georgia and Greg’s talk is now on YouTube