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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Revegetation alliance to boost Tweed koala habitat

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NSW environment minister Rob Stokes (lower centre), and Tweed MP Geoff Provest (front left) plant a seedling to launch the project to further revegetate Cudgen Nature Reserve, watched by project manager and research fellow at Southern Cross University Kevin Glencross, Tweed mayo Gary Bagnall, Friends of Cudgen Nature Reserve volunteer Rhonda James, and National Parks and Wildlife Service acting area manager Jenny Atkins. Photo supplied
NSW environment minister Rob Stokes (with sapling) and Tweed MP Geoff Provest (front left) ready to plant a seedling to launch the project to further revegetate Cudgen Nature Reserve, watched by project manager and research fellow at Southern Cross University Kevin Glencross  (top left), Tweed mayor Gary Bagnall, Friends of Cudgen Nature Reserve volunteer Rhonda James, and National Parks and Wildlife Service acting area manager Jenny Atkins. Photo supplied

A combined effort by community and other agencies in a $200,000 project to restore 23 hectares of former banana farming land at Cudgen is set to increase much-needed habitat for endangered koalas on the Tweed Coast.

The initiative was launched by state government, Southern Cross University (SCU) and community members at Cudgen Nature Reserve last Friday. The project is funded by the federal government through the Subtropical Farm Forestry Association, which is coordinated by Southern Cross University.

Tweed Shire Council staff were also involved in the launch of the project to plant 15,000 koala food trees at the reserve, recognising the initiative’s links to the Koala Connections program by the Tweed and Byron councils.

The Koala Connections project recently planted 5,000 native trees in the nature reserve, as part of the program’s aim to improve koala habitat corridors in public and private land along the coast.

That work will be complemented by the latest joint program between SCU, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, WetlandsCare Australia and the Friends of Cudgen Nature Reserve to restore the 23 hectares of land formally occupied by banana farms.

The launch for the site restoration was kicked off by NSW environment minister Rob Stokes and Tweed MP Geoff Provest when they planted the first of the seedlings.

Koala Connections project manager Scott Hetherington welcomed the latest project, saying it would further strengthen the site as koala habitat and complement other koala conservation initiatives planned for the location.

‘This announcement comes soon after another Koala Connections initiative to alert motorists by implementing koala zone signs on Clothiers Creek Road at each end of the nature reserve,’ Mr Hetherington said.

‘While the signs on the road surface aim to raise driver awareness and reduce the number of koalas killed by traffic on that road, there are several other steps we’re currently finalising as part of an overall koala road package.

‘The intention is these packages could then be implemented on other designated koala roads, throughout our district and beyond,’ he said.

Tweed mayor Gary Bagnall also attended the launch, saying that Mr Stokes ‘has taken a keen interest in our shire and in particular the Tweed Coast’s koalas’.

‘This grant will be of enormous value to our efforts to save the last of our koalas from extinction’ Cr Bagnall said.

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  1. This is wonderful news. It would be great if our environment minister Rob Stokes MP would support the Great Koala National Park and Sandy Creek National Park south of Casino. Forestry Corp is reported to be trashing Koala habitat across the state while operating at a loss. Tourism supplies more jobs and positivity to our economy. The National always talk about balance. We need real balance that supports jobs and our environment. Just go look at our state forests. They are full of Lantana and good luck finding any habitat trees or food trees for threatened species. Now Forestry Corporation wants to do more extreme logging on steep slopes since they are running out of trees. Our public forests are ours. Not Borals and not Forestry Corporations. The timber industry is leeching our taxpayers money to log core Koala Habitat, Endangered Ecological Communities, critically endangered rainforest and operate at a loss? This is not a good business model when it’s shooting tourism, our bread winner in the foot. Time to get out of logging in out public forests. It’s a better business model to leave them in the ground storing carbon to combat climate change. Read the new NEFA policy and follow the website for more information. http://www.nefa.org.au/policies


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