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Byron Shire
April 12, 2021

Why are Byron’s pro-development councillors delaying koala plan?

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On 27 August, Byron Shire Council was asked to adopt its long-awaited and sorely-needed Plan of Management for the Shire’s coastal koalas, a population measured a few years ago at just 240 animals.

The vision of the KPoM is ‘to enable a long-term sustainable future for koala populations inhabiting the koala planning area’. That area is essentially the eastern part of Byron Shire, east of the highway. The area contained 240 koalas at last count, a few years ago. Reported mortality has been 50+, 30+ and 52 for each of the past three years. And that is only the reported deaths.

Koalas are listed as ‘vulnerable’ at both state and federal levels. They are ‘vulnerable’ in NSW, Queensland and the ACT.

Our KPoM was drafted from 2011 to 2013, was exhibited early in 2014 and was discredited at the end of its creation by councillors in October 2014. Legal advice confirmed some errors and a corrected draft came to council last week.
Councillors again knocked back the KPoM, this time insisting that it be peer reviewed (by a critic of its original author who carries an Australian honour for his work on koalas).

The current draft is now to go on exhibition for two weeks, informally on council’s website ‘to allow interested parties to make further submissions’. A workshop will then be provided for councillors to oversee the submissions and to shape the terms of reference of the peer review.

I encourage anyone who cares about the future of free-range koalas on our coast to find the KPoM on council’s website and make a submission. If you know of experts who might care, please ask them too. Your submission may influence the five anti-KPoM councillors to reconsider. Even if not, it is at least an avenue to record your protest.

Cr Duncan Dey, Byron Shire Council


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3 COMMENTS

  1. In all I have read about koala numbers as with all animals, birds and fish, you count the gender balance.
    But it does not seem so with koalas when the managers are the experts.
    If the 240 koalas are all of one gender then they are no longer “vulnerable’, they are extinct.
    With koala kills on the roads, means they are killing the most active koalas, and that could be the male koala, so the gender balance needs to be known, as to have too many of one gender and less of the other means the koala number is on the way to extinction faster than Cr Duncan Dey says here.

  2. It would appear that the fab five councillors will succeed in helping their developer mates and get rid of the inconvenient koalas that get in the way of making more money – which is of course the reason humans were invented.
    The only way to help koalas and the earth is to get rid of the fab five and their ilk.

  3. EASY WAY TO SEE THE DIFFERENCES TWEEN 2 PLANS
    The best way you can SEE what is happening between the two documents is to download both draft plans (links below) and compare the maps (in 2014 pages 31-35 and in 2015 pgs 30-35). Compare ones for places you live in and know well. Look at the W Byron map too.

    Remember the 2014 plan has the consultants’ name on the document. The 2015 is much shorter, changed and no names are there any more.

    MORE official background and links

    http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/koalas-in-byron-shire

    here is the previous koala management plan so you can compare

    http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/public-exhibition/2014/03/21/draft-byron-coast-comprehensive-koala-plan-of-management-public-exhibit

    In the past two weeks, my neighbours told me they saw koalas on the move near the Lighthouse and across the sports fields in town. They are still here. If you have any pix, these (with your name, date & location) are always welcome at [email protected].

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