The ballad of Sir Barilaro
"Gosh, it did escalate quickly though."
A dangerous animal, the koala. A creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived! Heed the alarums of brave Sir Barilaro that the bones of full fifty men lay strewn about its lair and if you do doubt your courage or your strength, venture no further into its core habitat as defined by the State Environmental Planning Policy, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth.
Oh wait, no.
That’s not a real thing.
But the moral collapse and severe cognitive impairment of the National Party is real and delightfully so. Behold the tale of Sir Barilaro who did call his brave bucolic knights to arms and bid them to war lest any should imagine they were afeared to lay down their lives in defence of the principle that all men had the right to kill as many fucking koalas as they could drive a D9 bulldozer over.
Gosh, it did escalate quickly though.
But we should not be harsh. It’s wrong to make fun of the handicapped, and the Koala War did distract us this week from all the creeping horror in the world of real things.
As the Nature Conservation Council’s Chris Gambian put it, fighting for the right to kill koalas was an extraordinary hill to die on. But the mad fun of the Nats’ marsupial jihad was that they wanted to die that hill, but immediately respawn back in their ridiculuxurious Cabinet offices, with fat stacks o’ cash and an entourage of highly trained ministerial gofer chimps to rip the top off a frosty one for them while they polished up a spiffing war story about all those koalas they flattened with their massive killdozer.
How very Gladys of Gladys not simply to deny them this tiny indulgence but to make her disappointed face every time they doubled down with new demands for industrial scale koalacide.
It was, too, somewhat inconsiderate of her to remind the Barilomonkeys that they weren’t actually allowed to be in government and opposition at the same time, which evidences a deplorable lack of imagination on her part and a sadly inadequate commitment to our future entertainment needs. If only every day could be like today, with the National Party getting its 800 pound gorilla on, where by gorilla they meant gigantic surrender monkey.
The only question remains why they decided to punch themselves in the dick so hard.
Barilaro tried to insist it was because they were fighting for the property rights of farmers, but two inconvenient truths got in the way.
One, it was bullshit.
As the NSW’s government’s own Planning minister explained in a Herald OpEd:
John Barilaro said a lot of things about the koala policy on Thursday, and most of them are untrue. My colleague in the NSW government said farmers can’t build a feed shed or a driveway on their property without a koala study. This is not the case. You can erect farm sheds, pour driveways, clear fence lines and engage in any routine agricultural practice that has occurred for generations without the need for development consent or a koala study.
But two, fuck all that noise anyway.
The real story is the Nats haven’t been the farmers party since they did the sums and figured out developers and mining companies would pay them a shit ton more money to fuck with farmers property rights than to protect them.
The SEPP doesn’t preclude any of the workaday activities of actual farmers. But it will stop mining companies from razing vast tracts of bushland to get at the minty fresh coal beneath. And it could totally fuck with shady douchelord property developers converting agricultural land on the fringe of Sydney into aesthetically worthless but splendidly profitable brick six packs.
The former NSW state Agriculture Minister Niall Blair, since moved on to honest work as a Professor of Food Sustainability at Charles Sturt University, boiled it down to essences.
“I would be more concerned about this koala SEPP if I was a developer rather than a farmer.”
Koala Tales Out-of-School: When I was 18 I sent my pen-friend in Japan a koala (it's what one did over a half-century ago). No koalas were harmed in the making of that little furry creature - it had two interesting features: (a) it was Made in Australia (as things were back then); and (b) it was created using kangaroo fur. The first koala I recall seeing was at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. Years later I lived in a location where we'd fairly often see koalas in trees nearby. When I lived in Japan - I can't recall how many dozens of little clip-on koalas I distributed on special visits to schools and community groups - as a souvenir from Australia - all Made in China, I believe. That's a trade which has now possibly gone the way of barley - goodness knows! The last time I seriously spotted lots of koalas was just two-and-a-half years ago in the trees surrounding the Raptor Park on Kangaroo Island. Most of the island's koalas were incinerated in the disastrous fires of last summer.
I was tres amused on twitter when someone said they would be very disappointed if this legislation wasn't referred to as 'the Blinky Bill'. Love the Fiona Shaw as MI6's Carolyn Martens looking very British in the giff at the end.