Australian politicians are at war over koalas

They may be cute and cuddly-

but koalas are at the center of a debate in New South Wales, the largest state in Australia, so bad it's sent the local politics into chaos.

The problem is over policies to protect the marsupials.

For decades, two political parities in New South Wales - the Liberals and the Nationals -- have been partners.

And last June an inquiry found that koalas could become extinct there by 2050 unless the government immediately intervened.

That's where they split and the coalition is now on the verge of falling apart.

The Nationals, and their State Deputy Premier John Barilaro said his rural-focused party would no longer support government legislation unless changes were made to the koala habitat protection policy.

He says that the policy unfairly limits the way rural land owners can manage their land.

''We're not anti-Koala and this idea that somehow the National Party is anti-Koala is wrong."

The Nationals plan to introduce a bill next week to repeal the conservation policy, but Premier Gladys Berejiklian has given the Nationals until just Friday morning to decide whether they want to stay in her cabinet or quit the coalition.

Local media have dubbed it the "koala war."