The NSW government has been forced to go back to the drawing board on koala policy after one of its own MPs voted against a compromise bill on land management.
Liberal Catherine Cusack on Thursday told the upper house she could not back the land management bill negotiated with the Nationals, who had threatened to split from the government over koala policy.
The upper house MP instead moved an amendment to send the controversial changes to a committee for further scrutiny.
"I apologise to the premier, my party and our coalition partners," Ms Cusack is reported to have told parliament.
The amendment was backed 19 votes to 18, effectively delaying a vote on the bill until next year.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian immediately sacked Ms Cusack as a parliamentary secretary following the vote, which puts in jeopardy a truce on a policy which had threatened to tear apart the NSW coalition.
"Following her decision today to move a non-government amendment to a government bill, I have made the decision to immediately remove Ms Catherine Cusack as a parliamentary secretary," a one-line statement from the premier said.
In September NSW Nationals leader and deputy premier John Barilaro threatened to blow up the coalition government if concessions weren't made to rural property owners for protection measures over koala habitat.
However, the Liberals and Nationals appeared to have reached agreement on policy last month.
"I always predicted we would get it to a very good outcome and I'm really happy with where we've landed," Ms Berejiklian said at the time.
In a statement issued late on Thursday night, Mr Barilaro and Ms Berejiklian said they would revisit the koala policy next year.
"Our farmers deserve certainty and they do not deserve to be held to ransom by a Greens-controlled inquiry," they said.
"The premier and the deputy premier have agreed the NSW government will revert to operations under the former (environmental planning policies) by the end of the month and in the new year we will develop a policy to protect koalas and the interests of farmers."
Greens MP Cate Faehrmann, who chairs the NSW Upper House Inquiry into Koalas, celebrated Thursday's vote.
"Fair to say the Nats Koala-Killing bill has been killed! Woot!!" she posted on Twitter.
Australian Associated Press
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