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Byron Shire
May 14, 2021

Goodbye koalas

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I’ve only lived in Bangalow for twelve months after selling my farm one hour inland from here. I thought I’d miss the native bushland around my old property but found a house in the most treed part of town with the ubiquitous Bangalow palm, patches of rainforest and a corridor of old gum trees leading down to a park and creek with a small bat colony (getting bigger), a multitude of birdlife, pythons, water dragons and, best of all, koalas, and all this five minutes’ walk to town.

However I won’t be seeing the koalas any more. One of my neighbours who’s just moved here from overseas decided that the gum trees on his property had to go, every one of them. I could understand the one near his house, but along the back fence abutting a small rainforest well away from his planned new pool?

Why move to a leafy established area if you don’t like native bush or wildlife? Couldn’t he have moved into a new estate on the outskirts of town in a paddock?

I rang Council to confirm if he had a permit to do this – he had. The council subcontracts the permit system out to a private company. I asked the lady at Council how the koalas are now going to move from one property to the next now that a huge chunk of their habitat is gone. She couldn’t answer that; all she could say is he ‘had a permit to cut every tree down’.

Stuart McIntosh, Bangalow


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