The plan to revegetate Blacks Rocks oval is fundamentally flawed and counterproductive to the survival of Tweed Coast koalas.
Koalas only have to move 200m north from the 4ha site to be subjected to two of the main killers of koalas, roads and domestic animals. The plan has no mention of this problem and is not considered an issue for the koalas, but it is considered an issue by the plan that koalas encounter these around the oval, which has less houses, roads and human activity.
There is over a million dollars of infrastructure at the oval that would need to be ripped up, and would need to be rebuilt on a site that the council doesn’t own. That money would have to come from ratepayers and from koala projects where koalas are actually dying.
Taking information from Tweed koala reports, using your own opinion, estimates, and presenting them as facts on the Black Rocks oval, is just plan dishonest and highlights the misinformation spread by the group trying to close the oval. It would be great to have endless amounts of land and money to spend on koalas, but we don’t, so a balanced approach must be taken to get the best result, not focusing on the pet projects of a few. Spending millions of dollars on only four hectares out of the thousands of hectares of koala habitat in the shire is at best incompetent and selfish.
The Black Rocks KAP is approximately 271 ha in size, of which none were affected by the Christmas fire. To relate all information about this large area to just a four-hectare sports field is misleading. It’s also not surprising that nature would be better off without human infrastructure, but this is unrealistic, so it is important to get the balance right. Some 112 hectares of land was dedicated to koala habit when Black Rocks estate was developed, with 42 hectares for housing and four hectares of land for a sports field.
The council should be congratulated on such a balance in favour of koalas and nature. It’s no wonder that the Tweed Shire Council won the 2014 Green Globe award for its Koala Connections program, the state’s leading environmental award. Adding only four hectares to koala habitat will not save Tweed coast koalas just deprive our kids the right to play sport and a much needed home for the Pottsville Men’s shed.
Matthew France, Pottsville