- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
NSW Treasurer Matt Kean has denied claims from an outgoing Liberal colleague that he did a political deal that "virtually condemns NSW koalas to extinction".
NSW Liberal MP Catherine Cusack posted a series of tweets on Tuesday showing her and former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian arguing over text message about the government's proposed koala policy.
"I am posting these messages to prove I had no knowledge of the disgusting deal @Matt_KeanMP did with the Nationals that virtually condemns NSW koalas to extinction," Ms Cusack wrote in a follow up tweet.
Mr Kean, the former environment minister, says the claims are "absolutely untrue".
"Everyone knows that I fought to protect koalas," he said on Wednesday, citing the $193 million funding package for the endangered species he secured while environment minister," he said.
"I think it's a matter of public record that my relationship with (former NSW Nationals Leader) John Barilaro nearly broke the government over the stance I took to protect koalas."
Ms Cusack also said her requests to meet with Dominic Perrottet in recent months had been rebuffed, however the premier said the pair met on Wednesday morning.
"Catherine has some concerns in relation to bills and the like," the premier said.
"That's only a natural thing and when people get into parliament they have different views on things and I think that's important."
The government spent four years developing its koala SEPP (State Environmental Planning Policy), and while trying to pass the legislation endured a bruising stoush that threatened to destroy the Liberal-National coalition.
It was defeated when Ms Cusack crossed the floor, telling the parliament the policy "has zero to do with protecting koalas".
The text messages show a lengthy exchange with Ms Berejiklian urging Ms Cusack to support the bill.
"I need your help re Koala Sepp. Pls stop sending things to the Opposition," one message from Ms Berejiklian reads.
"I think you have messed this up big time and you have made a mistake," Ms Cusack responded.
"Catherine please reconsider ... for the sake of government unity," Ms Berejiklian wrote in another text.
Ms Berejiklian later texted that Ms Cusack's lack of support meant the koala protection policy had been quashed and later informed her she had lost her role as parliamentary secretary.
"Catherine. It breaks my heart that I will need to remove the Parl Sec role from you at this time," the then-premier wrote.
"Sacked by text message when I did nothing wrong," Ms Cusack replied.
"I opposed a bill that departed from a cabinet decision.
"It was clearly my right as a Liberal MP as long as I informed by colleagues and followed the rules," she wrote.
Greens MP Cate Faehrmann is scheduled to introduce a Great Koala National Park Bill into parliament on Wednesday.
She urged the Labor Party to support the bill but tweeted "all indications are they won't vote for it".