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Byron Shire
September 28, 2021

The mayor and Tweed Coast koalas

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What an interesting experience it is to sit in the Tweed Shire Council gallery each month and watch our elected representatives make decisions for our shire.

Over the years I have witnessed a disturbing pattern in mayor Longland (supposed to be one of the four progressive, environmentally-friendly councillors) vote against the best outcome for our critically endangered coastal koalas and thereby cause motions to fail.

Just last meeting, members of Team Koala were calling for no developments near Black Rocks sports field at Pottsville and for the area between the sports field and the koalas to be revegetated with koala trees.

Renowned koala expert Steve Phillips and three other ecologists have called for no development in this area. Yet mayor Longland, once again, voted for council to support a new development there.

In April there was a motion to lock the koala/dog-proof fence except for authorised entry to protect koalas from hoons, arsonists, shooters and off-leash dogs. These activities are causing stress-related diseases like chlamydia to kill koalas.

Cr Longland voted against the motion causing it to fail.

We all remember years ago when Cr Longland’s vote meant council did not send a letter to the state planning department requesting a dog ban at Kings Forest (another critical koala corridor). You have to wonder why.

If you care about koalas please write to him ([email protected]) and tell him why he needs to represent the community in protecting koalas.

As mayor he needs to know what the community wants so he can honestly represent us. Alternatively check the council agenda for koala items and be in the gallery to cheer on those councillors protecting our koalas.

Kudos to Crs Milne and Bagnall for consistently protecting koalas.

Menkit Prince, Uki

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