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Byron Shire
April 1, 2023

Koala numbers ‘below viable levels’

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A 'legacy' floodplain development on the tidal estuary of Cobaki Creek, known to have recent koala sightings, was approved in 1996 and is now being cleared.

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Despite koala numbers in the Tweed falling to an all-time low of just 144, plans are still going ahead that would reduce their already diminished habitat.

As well as the report on the threat in Pottsville, the Kings Forest development will further threaten their viability.

A public rally in support of koala habitat is planned to be held near the entrance to the Kings Forest development site at the intersection of Old Bogangar Road and Tweed Coast Road, next Saturday 10 December, from 10am to noon.

An organiser said the next stage of the development was still proposed for vital koala habitat and major corridors ‘despite a rapidly accelerating decline of koalas along the Tweed Coast’.

‘The developer has proposed a new amended koala plan of management but the fundamental problem of the development footprint remains the same,’ the organiser said.

‘In 2005 the state planning department overrode strong and repeated recommendations from the environment department to remove the development from both the eastern portions and from the Cudgen Paddock to the south.

‘The current council also endorsed this smaller footprint for the recent concept plan proposal but NSW Planning again overrode all opposition, as well as the views of largest number of community submissions in NSW history.’

‘Tweed Council’s latest koala study proves just how wrong these planning ministers were as coastal koalas recently plummeted to an estimated 144, way below viable population levels.’

Kings Forest DA up for comment

Tweed locals have until just December 23 to comment on plans for the first stage of the proposed township of Kings Forest for 4,500 homes.

The plans by Leda Developments are on exhibition at the government website www.majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au.

It’s understood that Team Koala supporters are calling for an extension of the exhibition period for another month.

The project, given concept approval by former lands minister Tony Kelly late last year, involves subdivision to create new lots for future development, construction of the entrance road to the site and associated intersection works on Tweed Coast Road, bulk earthworks and planting for the proposed future golf course as well as a service station and fast-food outlet.

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