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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Koala-gate debate brings out good, bad and ugly

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The good, the bad and the ugly were all on show at the Tweed Shire Council meeting last week.

It was absolutely appalling when the proposal for the removal of the koala protection gates at Black Rocks was discussed. After several very comprehensive, sensible and informative presentations by community members were presented the handling of this very important issue by some of the councillors was deplorable.

The GOOD -Mayor Bagnall , did his best to try and remind the councillors of their obligation to make decisions that would protect, provide utmost care of the environment , to guard the future of any endangered inhabitants in the tweed and to make sure that the decisions are made with great care and consideration. But to no avail to the avid 4 who would not listen with purpose.

The BAD – Cr Longland, what is he playing at one has to ask. Firstly he was not present through any of the community presentations, or any other voting and only walked in on the voting of the Black Rocks Gate proposal ( how convenient, otherwise the outcome would have been totally different).

He was then relentless in not compromising on his stand and wanted only to have his idea of a koala grid to replace the removed gates no matter what other options or timing to research the success of the grids was offered by other councillors, or what the Pottsville community may really want, and that he did not want any further discussions about the issue.

He gave no real respect to the amazing input by the concerned community which he should be listening too, and the reaction he has caused by his indifference on this issue.

Oh and lets not forget at one point he implied that the detailed information made available for the council by concerned residents of the area may have been fabricated.

What an insult the kind people who take the time to actually go and monitor such things in rain, hail, shine and fire! how absolutely disgraceful of a councillor to say such things about his fellow shire residents who do all these things for no monetary or other personal gain. Can we say the same about him I wonder.

The UGLY – Cr Youngblutt, Oh this man takes the cake, how he is holding such an important position in our society heaven only knows! He actually referred to some of the two other councillors who were offering up constructive ideas to de-fuse the issue as ‘You People!’ He referred to them several times in this manner, in a loud voice until one of them quite rightly so intervened and said he was being derogatory and it was not appropriate.

Cr Youngblutt in his rude manner also implied that the few voices of the community showing concern about this issue were not important as they were only such ‘ a small part ‘ and there were ‘90,000’ others out there.

What a nice attitude for a councillor to have toward his public who have taken the time and trouble to show their concern about something of great significance in their shire and want him to listen and show some respect for their opinions.

I have to admit I am still reeling with astonishment and horror that four of the councillors were so determined not to consider the actual long term significance that the removal of these gates may have on the already dangerously low koala survival. It is just ludicrous; it does not make sense and one cannot help but wonder it there is another agenda here, perhaps to do with a new development nearby?

Who would really know? All we do know is that four of our seven councillors will be unconcerned if this area no longer has any koalas to worry about. It will make their life easier: no need for such community response or energy on their part to deal with them.

What a sad state of affairs to feel this way about those in such a responsible position making incredibly important decisions on behalf of the community and supposedly for the benefit and future of the area and its heritage.

I hope the voters will think very seriously next time they have a chance and not allow these sorts of characters to have the honour of making such decisions because they certainly are not treating this honour with the respect and diligence it deserves.

Upset, sad, angry, and disappointed

Joan Doris, Nerang

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  1. Doris,
    No excitement in Qld? There is no Albert Shire Council any more in Nerang. It is great that Qld tourists come down to see our Council meetings without a big welcome sign on the road at the border.


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