Ecologist Dr Steve Phillips believes that the Black Rocks sports field is not ‘a dot on the fringe of a major corridor’ as recently suggested by a Pottsville resident:
- ‘The Black Rocks locality is one – if not the most – important because the site supports a resident koala population which is ideally placed to accommodate both north-south and east-west movement’ (30/9/2014).
- ‘Actively committing and establishing a timeline for the rapid infilling of gaps in existing and critically important habitat areas such as Black Rocks is fundamental to assisting future survival prospects for this crucial koala population hub’ (2/12/2014).
A motive of the Threatened Species Conservation Society (with members residing at Pottsville, Murwillumbah, Limpinwood and Lillian Rocks) is to progress the recommendations of this well-renowned koala expert.
The Tweed Coast KPoM (p18) states: ‘Maintaining and improving opportunities for koala movement south towards the Wooyung KLP and KAP is the key focus of this (Black Rocks) precinct, in order to re-establish north-south connectivity into the Byron Shire’. As the Black Rocks sports field is located within the Black Rocks KAP, its specific focus is to create viable movement corridors to the south, not to the west as suggested by this resident.
The Black Rocks koalas are ‘managed’ by an outdated, largely unenforced individual plan (not the Tweed Coast KPoM). In his submission (2/12/2014) Dr Phillips expressed concern that the Tweed Coast KPoM did not contain ‘a commitment to have localities such as Black Rocks planted out within the first 3-5 years of the plan’.
Based on actual demand statistics from the Tweed Shire Sports Fields Strategy, there is a four-hectare over-supply of sporting infrastructure in the southern precinct (which includes Pottsville). The proposed Dunloe Park urban land release is to provide sporting infrastructure within its footprint. Our children are well-catered for – let’s give our koalas what they need to survive.
David Norris , president Threatened Species Conservation Society, Pottsville