How koalas caused an Aussie political crisis

Australia's most popular state has managed to avoid a disastrous political crisis, that all started with Koalas.

Two political parties in New South Wales - the Nationals and Liberals - have been partners for almost a century, and run the state in a coalition.

But a disagreement over how to protect the marsupials recently brought that to a crashing halt and threw the government into disarray. Local media has dubbed this as the "Koala War".

The rural-focused Nationals objected to a ban on land-clearing in habitat deemed essential for the koalas, saying it deprived farmers the right to manage their own land.

The Liberals held firm, resignations were threatened, and chaos ensued.

But luckily on Friday (September 11), the Nationals leader and Deputy State Premier John Barilaro said his party would stay in their roles after Premier Gladys Berejiklian assured him the law would be on the agenda at a future cabinet meeting.

"We wanted to negotiate an outcome that didn't bring down the coalition and you know I'm confident and comfortable. Did we concede? Of course we've conceded some part. But so has the Liberals."

And they both say they're dedicated to protecting the koalas, which a report in June said could go extinct in the state without their protections.

Video Transcript

- Australia's most populous state has managed to avoid a disastrous political crisis that all started with koalas. Two political parties in New South Wales-- the Nationals and Liberals-- have been partners for almost a century, and run the state in a coalition. But a disagreement over how to protect the marsupials recently brought that to a crashing halt and threw the government into disarray. Local media has dubbed this as the Koala War.

The rural-focus Nationals objected to a ban on land-clearing and habitat deemed essential for the koalas, saying it deprived farmers the right to manage their own land. The liberals held firm resignations with threatened, and chaos ensued. But luckily on Friday, the Nationals leader and Deputy State premier John Barilaro said his party would stay in their roles--

JOHN BARILARO: But yesterday we had to do what we had to do.

- --after Premier Gladys Berejiklian assured him the law would be on the agenda at a future cabinet meeting.

JOHN BARILARO: We wanted to negotiate an outcome that didn't bring down the coalition. And you know, look, I'm confident and comfortable. Did we concede? because we've conceded some part. But so has the Liberals.

- And they both say they're dedicated to protecting the koalas, which a report in June said could go extinct in the state without their protections.