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Byron Shire
April 17, 2021

March for koalas on Sunday

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A ‘March for Koalas’ will be held at Pottsville on market day, Sunday, 19 July (meeting 11am at Ambrose Park).

The voice of the community is needed to send a strong message to Tweed Shire Council that it is unacceptable to make decisions which disregard the plight of our endangered koalas:

1. A development application for an industrial-like facility (i.e. Men’s Shed) within a koala corridor at the Black Rocks sports field is set to be approved. Ecologist/koala expert Dr Steve Phillips states: ‘Increasing development pressure being placed on the sports field locality is paramount to an abrogation of council’s responsibilities to koala conservation in the Tweed’. (30/9/2014).

2. The koala protection gates at the entrance to the sports field remain open during the day against the recommendations of council’s Koala Advisory Committee.

3. At the 21 May 2015 Council meeting, councillors Longland, Byrne, Polglase and Youngblutt voted to replace these gates with a grid (without a council report into its suitability and efficacy), allowing vehicular access both day and night.

The Black Rocks/Pottsville Wetlands koalas are hanging perilously on the edge after the Christmas Day 2014 fire, which destroyed over 200ha of koala habitat with an estimated loss of 30-60 per cent of the koala source population.

Two Black Rocks koalas suffering from the stress-related disease chlamydia have been euthanased (another remains uncaptured and untreated).

Dr Phillips believes: ‘the level of disturbance at the Black Rocks sports field may have contributed to elevated levels of disease in this very fragile koala population’ (26/1/2015).

Ecologist Sandy Pimm states: ‘The Pottsville Wetlands/Black Rocks koala sub-population is critical to the survival of the koala on the Tweed Coast’ (5/12/2013).

What we do now will determine whether our iconic koala is there for our children and future generations.

David Norris
, president
 Threatened Species Conservation Society , Pottsville

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