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Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Concert of concern for Ballina’s koalas

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It was with great surprise and sadness that I heard last week that the NSW government/RMS have been digging up Aboriginal sites for artefacts along the proposed Section 10 (Broadwater to Coolgardie) of the Pacific Highway Upgrade. In the year 2015, how can the NSW Government allow the RMS to destroy these sites and propose a highway deviation straight through the middle of Ballina’s largest and most important wildlife corridor and a nationally significant koala colony?

If there was no other option available then I could understand, but in this case, the RMS have never investigated widening the existing highway between Broadwater and Wardell, even though it’s the most direct route, would cost less money, and avoid the koala colony and Aboriginal sacred sites altogether.

The state government in its ‘balanced’ approach has valued marginal cane farmland beside the existing highway against all other factors (environmental, economic, cultural/social). While the owners of cane farmland adjacent to the highway can be generously compensated for any loss of land, our wildlife corridor (koalas) and Aboriginal sites can never be replaced or compensated.

A free concert and information day has been organised for Saturday May 23 at Missingham Amphitheatre from noon. This will be a family-friendly event with lots of local performers and a guest appearance by Kevin the Koala. Please come along and have some fun and find out how you can help save our iconic koalas and Aboriginal sacred sites.

Jeff Johnson, Save Ballina’s Koalas campaign coordinator

 


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1 COMMENT

  1. I am writing this message to let everybody know that I am strongly against the proposed Section 10 (Broadwater to Coolgardie) of the Pacific Highway Upgrade. As a long time koala supporter, I am appalled to hear that the NSW government allow the RMS to destroy these Aboriginal sites and propose a highway deviation straight through the middle of Ballina’s largest and most important wildlife corridor and a nationally significant koala colony. Koalas are endangered, that means they are at risk of extinction unless people stand up and say no. I do not want to lose our precious, valuable and totally unique animals in Australia
    In recent times, it has become increasingly clear that existing legislation is incapable of providing the level of protection needed to save the Koala and I am shocked to hear that the federal government have decided to allow the States to administer koala legislation, even though the Senate Report showed they were completely incapable of protecting the koala and its habitat.
    If you look at the Bald Eagle act in USA, it has prevented the Bald Eagle from extinction. It is easy to draw parallels between the Bald Eagle and the Koala; they are both iconic to each country.
    The document is written now and I am hoping that others will consider supporting the legislation because it is time that simple and common sense regulations were put in place to protect koala habitat. I extremely strongly support the Australian Koala Foundation and believe others should participate.
    We need to address all these issues. Otherwise the Koala species will become extinct. I look forward to others comments.

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