So by now, you’ve probably seen a whole lot of news about a ‘koala war’ going on in NSW, and images of Gladys Berejiklian looking positively pissed at the people around her. But what the fuck is going on and what on Earth does Blinky Bill have to do with any of it? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

Alright so, this political drama, dubbed the ‘koala war’ by SMH, is essentially over a brand new policy that looks to restrict construction around koala habitats, which are being famously fucked over by deforestation.

The policy is named the State Environmental Planning Policy, which is why you’ve probably seen the abbreviation SEPP floating around.

An inquiry in June found that our favourite little marsupial would become extinct by 2050 unless there was intervention, which is basically how we ended up here.

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Protect my son at all costs

So what exactly is the problem? Protecting koalas sounds like a great thing, right? Introducing State Deputy Premier John Barilaro of the Nationals.

Barilaro basically stepped up and said, ‘nah, this won’t do’, because he probably hates koalas or something. Okay, he didn’t actually say that, but the reason he doesn’t like the SEPP, (which has hilariously been dubbed the ‘blinky bill’), is because he reckons the policy limits rural landowners in how they can manage their land.

Basically, he stepped up and resolved to essentially end the Coalition by shifting the entire National Party to the NSW Parliament crossbench. Now, this could have lead to entire Coalition destruction, which would be pretty grisly, especially over something so minute.

In other words, Barilaro threatened to stop supporting the government, and a huge yikes to that.

Also, he famously stepped out to press saying “we are not anti-koala,” which is exactly what someone anti-koala would say.

State Premier Berejiklian basically hated this response from her cabinet members, and gave the Nationals an ultimatum: either they could quit the Coalition, sit on the crossbench and effectively lose their jobs over this koala row, or they could stay in her cabinet and shut up.

“They cannot do both,” she said in a hella threatening statement, basically insinuating that she would swear in a new ministry with ease.

A decision had to be made by this Friday morning, which is today, and after some long talks and fears that the Coalition (or koalition) would split, Barilaro caved like an undercooked cake.

Basically, the Nationals leader went into Berejiklian’s office for a meeting that lasted somewhere around 10 minutes, and once that was done, the reports came rushing in like a plague of Moses saying that Barilaro had rolled over and begged for forgiveness.

So much for those threats of tearing the Coalition apart, hey bud.

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All this for a koala?

Still confused about all this talk of Coalitions and crossbenches?

Well essentially, The Nationals hold 13 seats in the lower house while the Libs holds 35. Together they form what is called a Coalition, and in a 93-member house, this gives them a majority.

Thus, if Barilaro hit the split, the Coalition would be bust. To do that over protecting koalas? Come on man, pick your battles.

Minister Rob Stokes told Nine Mr Barilaro was spreading “mistruths” about the policy and asked “why on earth” he was trying to weaken koala laws, and Chief Executive Chris Gambian of The Nature Conservation said it was an “extraordinary hill for the Nationals to die on”.

Basically, nobody was really on poor Barilaro’s side, and backing down was the best decision he could of made.

So, what now?

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After all that nonsense, the SEPP is still going ahead.

A senior Liberal source has told SMH that Mr Barilaro had “100% capitulated and could not even secure a date to discuss the Koala SEPP and it will come to cabinet in due course”.

Looks like the SEPP will go forth as planned in the near future, with no more speedbumps to slow it down. Godspeed, koala laws.

And that, friends, is how Gladys Berejiklian won the koala war over the blinky bill in 2020. One for the history books really.

The reason we should still care about it all, beyond the drama, is the fact that the lives of koalas are ultimately at stake here. We have to do all we can to protect the little fellas, because heaven forbid anything happens to them.

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And with that, I’m off to go look at koala pics.