Opinion/Comment, Science/Environment

The Portland Koala Catastrophe – “Not Happy Jan!”

Did you see the news about the massacre of koalas in a logging operation in Portland, Victoria recently?

By Airdre Grant

TIMELY REMINDER: Dave Wood took this photo of a healthy koala napping in a property on Sawtell Road near the Linden Ave intersection last Thursday near Coffs Harbour. Photo: Dave Wood

Reports are that approximately 500 koalas were bulldozed along with their trees and left there in a tangled mess with the trees, wounded, dead and dying.

A passer-by filmed the carnage and posted it on line, in tears as she described the scene.

If she hadn’t done that, we would never know and the people /companies responsible would continue to slaughter native animals.


Because it appears they can.

As long as they don’t get find out.

Social media has spread the video far and wide.

It’s gone global (including the BBC). See the video below;

People are asking how can this be allowed to happen especially at a time we have just lost over a billion animals to bush fires.

But frankly, how can this inhumane and cruel treatment of the fauna of Australia happen at all.

It goes beyond appalling and unbelievable that anyone is capable of such an act.

More public and international shaming about the way this country treats its environment and its native animals.

It’s this kind of behaviour that drives the most mild-mannered of citizens into an incandescent rage, and become an angry protester.

When our governance systems are so pathetic that any creature along with the koala, can be left wounded and dying in a mess on cleared land, it makes you question your faith in the notion of good government at all.

Social media can be terrible and it can be really, really great.

The fundraising for the bush fires was an excellent example. This is another.

This slaughter would have gone unnoticed if an ordinary Australian woman had not been confronted by wounded koalas on the road.

Driven by distress she told the world.

The fish kill in the Murray Darling was another time when citizens showed the world the mess they are living in as a result of greed and stupidity on an inconceivable level.

It woke everyone up.

It’s crazy to think there is a global initiative to make items to support the native animals of Australia with groups of people all over the world sewing wraps and mittens and other supports for our fire wounded animal population.

It’s been great the way so many have rallied in support.

But back here, this s***t happens.

So yes, I am mad. I am past being upset.

We lose hectares of forest and billions of animals and yet here we are mowing down trees and slaughtering koalas.

Not such a clever country.


Dr Airdre Grant is a Lecturer, based in the Teaching and Learning Unit, at Southern Cross University Lismore. She has been writing a published column for the Lismore Echo called ‘Veranda Talk’ for several years now.

First published at the Lismore Echo, Thursday 6 February 2020. See; https://www.echonews.com.au/news/not-happy-at-all/3935998/


  1. The loss of animals and habitat through the ongoing bushfires is absolutely heartbreaking.

    But this? This makes me so mad I feel sick to my stomach.

    It’s times like this that I’d be quite happy to see humans wiped off the planet in great numbers from the corona-virus or similar. Yes, that includes me – I’d be happy to go for the greater good of this planet.

    We’re all stuffing it up. We don’t deserve to be here – some less so than others. Yes I’m looking at you Russell and Keith Troeth!.

  2. No doubt this evil act of cruelty will be swept under the carpet just like the extreme cruelty inflicted on ex-race horses at slaughter houses in QLD and NSW recently exposed by Four Corners and which now appears to be all but forgotten.

    These monsters need to be publicly named and shamed and punished severely to deter other low-life acting in the same way.

  3. Sorry Mandy,if ever I were a dictator the first on my list for extinction are these guys .

  4. These a….holes need to be robbed of their habitat, severely beaten and burnt.

  5. Richard McDermott

    There is a good case to bring back the stocks for actions like this. A bit of public humiliation would be very appropriate.

  6. I feel sick to the core of my soul!
    At the same time, authorities will guve the perpetrators a slap on the hand do nothing at all and yet this is an atrocity.
    The perpetrators attitude shows nothing more than a callous disregard for the cruel, torturous death of our innocent, vulnerable koalas.
    They may have been caught this time but what about previous ones?
    Imagine the terror these poor koalas suffered.
    Jail is the only answer.
    And yes, Charlie. I’d bet on it.
    (His rellie’s a pollie btw).

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