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Byron Shire
February 8, 2023

Four Tweed councillors recognise plight of koalas

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At last there is a glimmer of hope that our Tweed Coast koalas can be brought back from the brink of extinction, thanks to decisions made at our last Tweed Shire Council meeting.

It is commendable that mayor Barry Longland, deputy mayor Michael Armstrong, Crs Katie Milne and Gary Bagnall voted in favour of rejecting an application to construct eight tennis courts (with night lights) at the Black Rocks sports field, which is situated in the middle of core koala habitat, an endangered ecological community, the Black Rocks koala population cell and the Pottsville/Wooyung Wetland wildlife corridor.

In particular, my thanks go to Cr Milne, whose support, commitment and tenacity were invaluable in achieving this incredible outcome. My appreciation is also extended to Cr Bagnall for his well-researched presentation of the facts.

In his commentary, Cr Armstrong concluded that even if daytime tennis courts were approved now, it is likely that in the future lights would be installed.

I believe this would pave the way for the two planned football fields with night lights.

This rationale supports the community’s concerns that high-order night sports would have significant adverse impacts on the survival of the koalas in the surrounding bushland.

I wish to clarify confusion in the community re the Pottsville Tennis Club’s need to relocate.

There were previous plans for the Department of Lands to resume part of the land on which the current four tennis courts are located for a bypass road behind the Pottsville shops.

However, these plans have been scrapped in favour of an 11-metre-wide access road.

From my telephone conversation with the Department of Lands, I understand that there is now no requirement for the tennis club to move from their central, highly visible position.

Dave Norris
, Pottsville

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