It’s a startling fact – every hour in Australia bulldozers destroy the equivalent of 28 Sydney Opera Houses of the homes of koalas and other threatened species.
If that’s hard to picture – it’s the same amount of land cleared as eight MCGs, seven Suncorp stadiums, nine Adelaide Ovals, or eight of Perth’s Optus stadium – every single hour.
We would never allow the Opera House to be bulldozed, but we do turn a blind eye to the destruction of our other national icons: our precious wildlife.
That’s the message delivered in a shock tactic advertising campaign that goes to air on TV this evening to wake up Australians to the crisis unfolding around them.
“Nature is in crisis in Australia, but too few of us have any idea it’s happening,” said ACF’s campaigns director Dr Paul Sinclair.
“We have the worst deforestation rates in the developed world. Since Australia’s national environment protection law took effect 20 years ago, more than seven million hectares of threatened species habitat has been destroyed.
“Australia’s nature protection laws are busted and distrusted and as a result the rates of deforestation are shocking, but only one-in-three Australians are aware of the crisis,” Dr Sinclair said.
“Can you imagine if the Sydney Opera House or MCG was demolished? There would be an uproar. But when it comes to destroying native habitat, there’s an eerie silence.
“We know Australians love nature. But sadly, many people don’t know the true extent of nature destruction taking place every hour across the country.
“The consequences of such grand scale destruction are huge. Australia has the highest rate of mammal extinctions in the world – even the koala is now endangered across New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT because we keep destroying their homes.
“We’re calling on people to show up, speak out and act for nature as part of the Save Our Big Backyard campaign.
“By supporting ACF, it will help us demand action from the federal government.
“We urgently need the Albanese government to create strong national nature protection laws and an independent regulator to enforce them.”
High-profile Australians supporting the Save our Big Backyard campaign and calling for strong ambition and leadership to reform our nature protection laws and begin to reverse nature destruction include:
Athletes and sportspeople: Cathy Freeman, Craig Foster, Jordan Roughead, Lizzie Hedding, Matthew Richardson. Layne Beachley.
Artists, actors and authors: Midnight Oil, Missy Higgins, Nick Cave, Tim Winton, Alex the Astronaut, Budjerah, Marcia Hines, Pete Murray, Kirk Pengilly, Milan Ring, Aaron Pedersen, Claudia Karvan, David Wenham, Benjamin Law, Aaron Chen, Dan Ilic, Tessa de Josselin, Cameron Daddo, Osher Günsberg, Drapht.
Read the statement: www.acf.org.au/open-letter-for-nature