The death of a koala at Yelgun at the weekend has raised fears among locals that the reently approved North Byron Parklands cultural-events site will impact heavily on the roaming animals.
The Splendour in the Grass music festival and other events are set to be held at the Yelgun site from next year, with over 20,00 people expected to use or camp at the site.,
The state government earlier this year approved the controversial development.
Paul Arrowsmith, president of the Yelgun and Middle Pocket Community Association, told Echonetdaily he came across the dead koala yesterday while walking on his farm.
‘I noticed this little guy on the ground at the base of three small gum trees. It appears he has fallen from the trees in the high winds we’ve been experiencing in Yelgun Valley over the last few days,’ Mr Arrowsmith said.
‘Our property is within five kilometres of the core koala habitat identified by North Byron Parklands ecological consultant Mark Fitzgerald,in his “Matters of National Environmental Significance, Attachment B”, attached to the referral to the federal environment department, titled “Cultural Events Site at Yelgun”.
‘His death is a tragedy, and indicates that koalas roam extensively over our area. I’ve never noticed any evidence of koala activity before on my farm.
‘The idea that they can be fenced into a small section of the events site,and managed to protect the population is farcical.
‘As is any suggestion that their real populations can be accurately assessed by intermittent field research, except to say that thay are evident and should be given every chance to thrive where they live, feed, breed and importantly, roam.
‘With the destruction of the colony at Tyagarah, the “containment for their protection” theory, has shown, it doesn’t work.
‘His little body will be given to the National Parks and Wildlife Service for further research.
‘We’ve named him Yelgun and we are saddenned by his passing,’ he said.