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Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Byron koalas need management plan

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M Gardner, Byron Bay

Recently I wrote that Byron shire needed to have a growth plan for our wildlife. Koalas are one species in desperate need of at least a management plan, let alone an innovative growth plan.

But councillors voted 5-4 soon after to defer the adoption of the koala management plan yet again.

I am bewildered that Cr Rose Wanchap voted against. The same garden pesticides that she worries poison people are a stress for koalas too.

I am shocked that Cr Ibrahim voted against because a plan opens up council to legalities. Yes, that’s exactly the type of protection wildlife requires to challenge insensitive developments that threaten them.

‘Slash and burn the future’ developments should be stopped, redesigned, even withdrawn.

The delay of a management plan now means there is less supporting koalas everywhere, especially those confronted by West Byron, Ewingsdale, Baywood Chase and Suffolk quarry developments.

Why can’t the council do better for our wildlife? The decision to stall the plan all swung on one vote.

And as for koala disease – researchers are now crowdfunding for finance. (http://www.pozible.com/project/186307 ) They want to track animals they treat with their new medicine.

Pesticides and degraded habitats make the animals more prone to disease. So does the lack of even a management plan.

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