19.7 C
Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

Tweed sportsfield ‘must be revegetated for koalas’

Latest News

Gladys just doesn’t get it? Bullshit.

The rules are lost to the dark art of time, but when I was younger, we used to play a card game called ‘Bullshit’...

Other News

When we get to 95 per cent vaccination, this will happen

Just when we were getting used to the current COVID roadmap, it has changed directions. Adjustments to previous settings scheduled for this milestone were announced yetserday.

Leigh Thomas says political affiliations not relevant to Council decision making

Leigh Thomas is the lead candidate for Group M running in the upcoming Tweed Shire Council elections. Mr Thomas...

Community carers and responders program launched

Following the recent second anniversary of the bushfires that hit our region, Resilient Byron say they are proud to...

From ‘struggle street’ to Ballina’s only woman running for mayor: Cr Cadwallader’s Echo Q&A

Independent Ballina Shire Councillor Sharon Cadwallader is the only woman in the shire running for mayor and arguably one of the most competitive candidates.

NSW public schools to strike December 7 

The president of the NSW Teachers Federation announced on Saturday morning that NSW public school teachers and principals will go on strike one day next week.

Gladys just doesn’t get it? Bullshit.

The rules are lost to the dark art of time, but when I was younger, we used to play a card game called ‘Bullshit’...

Koala campaigners outside tweed Shire Council chambers this week after presenting a petition with around 34,000 signatures calling on the Black Rocks sports field to be revegetated. Photo supplied
Koala campaigners outside Tweed Shire Council chambers this week after presenting a petition with around 34,000 signatures calling on the Black Rocks sports field to be revegetated. Photo supplied

Almost 34,000 people, many from around the world, have signed a petition calling on Tweed Shire Council to revegetate a sportsfield south of Pottsville surrounded by koala habitat and corridors.

The petition, which  used social media to attract interest in the Black Rocks sportsfield issue, was presented to council this week by a organisers who later staged a brief rally outside council chambers.

Koala campaigner and petition author Menkit Prince said recent moves by council to further develop the sports field with a Men’s Shed could ‘drive the last nail in the coffin’ of the koalas around Black Rocks, which have been dwindling in numbers in the past few years.

‘It’s the midnight hour for these koalas. They need peace and quiet to recover from the Xmas 2014 fire which severely damaged over 200 hectares of koala habitat in the Pottsville Wetlands and may have killed between 30-60 per cent of their population’, Ms Prince told Echonetdaily.

The petition was addressed to Cr Barry Longland, who spearheaded the Men’s Shed approval, calling for revegetation of the field and enclavement (permanent locking of the koala protection gates).

The petition, signed by 33,955 people from 73 countries, also called for a rescission motion to build the men’s shed on the site and the removal of the koala protection gates at its entrance.

Ms Prince said the support for the petition surprised and pleased her.

‘It was a collaborative effort by a team of people going to markets in all kinds of weather, extreme heat, pelting rain and wind, but well worth it,’ she said.

‘Four of the six councillors seem to think that koala lovers are in the minority. This petition proves the opposite.’

She said the when circulating the petition and talking to Tweed locals about the issue very few, or less than three per cent, did not want to sign, while ‘the remainder strongly supported signing  it.

‘This means 97 per cent of the Tweed electorate and ratepayers want coastal koalas protected. Tweed Shire council does not have a mandate from the people to continue neglecting Black Rocks koalas,’ Ms Prince said.

Longtime Black Rocks koala campaigner Dave Norris told Echonetdaily that in the past two years, seven koalas from the Black Rocks area had either been euthanased, found dead or photographed with symptoms due to stress-related diseasechlamydia.

Mr Norris, the president of the Threatened Species Conservation Society, said that only one young koala named Lucia was captured, treated and returned to the wild.

‘Evidence suggests that Black Rocks koalas are suffering from chlamydia due to stress from human disturbance, especially from loud noises near their habitat,’ he said.

‘We have reported over 300 incidences of koala-impactive activities to council with no effective remedial action being taken.

‘Disturbances include paramotoring, low-flying helicopters, petrol-fuelled model aeroplanes, trail bikes, council mowing and brushcutting, off-leash dogs including dangerous breeds, loud alchohol-fuelled parties, shooting etc. This can’t go on, it must be stopped now.’

Ms Prince said that a recent study by koala expert Dr Steve Phillips showed that ‘loud noise causes aversive behaviour in koalas and that there is a perceived link between elevated stress levels and the onset of chlamydiosis’.

‘A koala will travel 725 metres from the source of loud music at a festival. Why isn’t Tweed shire council at least following the precautionary approach if these studies are not conclusive enough for them?’

She said that Dr Phillips and three other ecologists had recommended revegetation and enclavement ‘to save this critically important colony of koalas’.

‘Koalas are a national treasure and a global icon and we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to protect them,’ she said.

Ms Prince said that Cr Longland had been singled out because of his push for the Men’s Shed and gates despite being voted in on an environmental platform’.

‘Most importantly he holds the balance of power in council between two opposing factions both of whom will support him if he votes with them,’ she said.

She said the National Party-aligned councillors Warren Polglase, Carolyn Byrne and Phil Youngblutt also had a history of voting against recommended protection for Black Rocks koalas.

 

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

4 COMMENTS

  1. If the Nimby’s at Black Rock were serious about Koala vegetation they would not have destroyed the vegetation to build their homes in the first place. This campaign has NOTHING to do with Koala’s, but all to do with locking up the estate to satisfy their own personal greed.

  2. A community access presentation before all the councillors on this issue at the last council meeting revealed that Cr Longland was writing and reading with his head down the whole time. This shows lack of civility to the community on this issue. He is not listening to us – 97% of the Tweed electorate. It’s up to us to vote him (and the other three councillors who vote with him on koalas at Black Rocks) out of office at the next election.

  3. Please Tweed Councilors, act to protect coastal Koalas.
    Governments from local to State and Federal have the power to save these endangered animals and their dwindling habitat.
    Whether it is new highways, logging roads, sportsfields or other ‘human facilities’, Koalas
    always seem to be expendable and get the short straw.
    Sometimes the hard choice to leave some peaceful habitat undeveloped needs to be made.
    This is the case here. A sportsfield and Mens Shed is great, but we have other options, the Koalas dont.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Flood warning for Richmond and Wilsons Rivers

A deepening low pressure trough through the northeast of the state is expected to bring rain and thunderstorms during Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the State Emergency Service.

Storms and rain for Tuesday and Wednesday in the Northern Rivers

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is predicting widespread thunderstorms and rain for the Northern Rivers.

Byron candidates 2021 Q&A part 2

Buckle in, seats upright, and loosen the belt!  It’s time to see what candidates have to say – in full – about our collective issues...

COVID update – Aquarius, Lismore sewage fragments and the South African variant

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there have been no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the 24 hours to 8pm 28 November, but, they are urging residents in the Lismore area to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.