19.8 C
Byron Shire
November 29, 2021

Wanchap’s propaganda and actions betray shire’s koalas

Latest News

Storms and rain for Tuesday and Wednesday in the Northern Rivers

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is predicting widespread thunderstorms and rain for the Northern Rivers.

Other News

Editorial – A potted history of local elections

The election of the Byron Shire mayor and councillors on December 4 will be the ninth such poll this newspaper has covered.

New Russian satellite-killer produces decades of fallout

‘Irresponsible’ Russian anti-satellite weapon sends shockwaves through space community with 1500 fresh fragments cannoning about in low-Earth orbit.

Thousands gather at Ballina MMAMV rally

Around 2,500 gathered at Missingham Park in Ballina to hear MMAMV speakers before marching to the Ballina police station and then making their way back to the starting point for more speakers.

Elephant in Byron Shire

During the 1980s Byron Shire Council introduced an LEP which included a building envelope that restricted the height of...

NSW public schools to strike December 7 

The president of the NSW Teachers Federation announced on Saturday morning that NSW public school teachers and principals will go on strike one day next week.

Tweed Council Greens ticket is seeking to build on the current strengths

Dr Nola Firth has taken the helm of The Greens ticket for the Tweed Shire Council elections on 4...

I consider Byron Shire councillor Rose Wanchap’s claims about West Byron to be misleading propaganda. I find it extremely worrying that someone with such a poor grasp of the facts is in a position of power to decide our future.  I can only try to redress the koala issue here.

Byron Council’s draft Coastal Koala Plan of Management (KPoM) identifies 12.8 ha of core koala habitat on West Byron, of which 4.6 ha has now been rezoned for development.

There were two surveys undertaken in 2010 for the developers that sampled part of this habitat. The one by Biolink (cited by Rose Wanchap) sighted two koalas (sex not identified). The Australian Wetlands survey sample sighted three koalas (one female).

Nobody has yet done a comprehensive survey of West Byron to identify the full numbers of koalas that use this habitat.

As noted by Dr Steve Phillips ‘The low number of koalas sighted does not necessarily reflect the actual number of koalas that are using the site and to imply that it does entirely misrepresents the local importance of the site to koalas’.

The Biolink report identifies koala records on the site back to 2007 (back to 1953 in the vicinity), and cites caravan park residents as regularly observing koalas, to conclude that there is a resident population.

It is outrageous for Rose Wanchap to intentionally misrepresent Dr Phillips’ Biolink report by claiming that the only koalas sighted were males and to pretend there is not a resident population. It is equally outrageous for her to imply that Biolink undertook a comprehensive survey.

With an estimated Byron coast population of only 240 koalas, the loss of any is significant, though the consequences could be far greater.

West Byron is a key link for movement between the north and west of Byron Bay. I am concerned that if this core koala habitat is cleared and surrounded by development then this link will be broken and surviving koalas to the west of Byron are unlikely to be able to survive in isolation.

Thanks to Wanchap’s misinformation and blocking of the draft KPoM we could lose the joy of seeing an occasional koala in our yards.

Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Byron candidates 2021 Q&A part 2

Buckle in, seats upright, and loosen the belt!  It’s time to see what candidates have to say – in full – about our collective issues...

COVID update – Aquarius, Lismore sewage fragments and the South African variant

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there have been no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the 24 hours to 8pm 28 November, but, they are urging residents in the Lismore area to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.

Last chance for tickets to Byron Shire Council Meet the Candidates forum

Today is your last chance to get tickets to tonight’s Byron Shire Meet the Candidates forum in the Byron Theatre.

Thousands gather at Ballina MMAMV rally

Around 2,500 gathered at Missingham Park in Ballina to hear MMAMV speakers before marching to the Ballina police station and then making their way back to the starting point for more speakers.