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Byron Shire
June 22, 2021

Middle ground won’t save koalas

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There are three Tweed councillors who I believe are not worthy of your readers’ vote at the next council election. Namely Crs Longland, Polglase and Byrne, who along with Cr Youngblutt refused to second Mayor Katie Milne’s motion for a council report into a koala underpass at Coronation Avenue, Pottsville. [Deputy Mayor Bagnall was absent due to illness.] As a result, sadly there was no discussion or voting on this issue.

Mayor Milne’s background notes in the agenda stated: ‘This section of Coronation Avenue at Pottsville crosses a narrow but vital wildlife corridor between Pottsville’s koalas to the north and south. The corridor has been squeezed to a critical pinch point at the road interface and is recognized as a blackspot for koalas. The koalas on the coast are in serious jeopardy and need the best possible option to reduce mortality at road crossings.’

The $50,000 offset for trees cut down during construction of the Pottsville Medical Centre was flagged for an underpass. Council chose signage instead, claiming an underpass would not fit. This was proven wrong but council would not hold up roadworks to correct the mistake. However, at a senior planning meeting it was revealed that an underpass could be installed once the roadworks were completed.

Cr Longland was voted in at the 2012 council election on a promise of ‘policies that ensure our natural assets are preserved’. Refusal to second a motion so that an underpass could be discussed and voted upon at the August Council meeting is yet one more instance where he has backflipped on his 2012 election promise. He is now running on the promise of being a ‘middle ground’ man. Our endangered koalas need more than middle ground decision-making.

Tweed Coast koalas are at the crossroads. They will not survive a middle/bottom line approach to koala protection by councillors and council management. Koalas are part of our community, and the community has the power to save them from extinction. Please vote for a candidate with a proven track record of standing up for the koalas at the next council election.


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  1. Dave,
    Let’s face it… the supporters of Shrek and Princess Fiona couldn’t give a toss about the environment. As far as they are concerned, the environment simply means a green fields site for more dormitory housing. Koalas are just an inconvenience.
    Longland, though, should be given the flick because he has proven himself to be total dud, and not just on koalas. He has cost the Tweed ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars by going off on frolics of his own (think David Keenan, the up/down on/off Pottsville gate, and – before council staff managed to head it off – the so called Pottsville plebiscite.) He has shown himself to be completely out of his depth as a councillor.
    He isn’t so much “middle-of-the road”, as a driver with shonky steering – you don’t know where he is going from one moment to the next. All he does is create a danger on the road. He is a traffic hazard.
    His flip-flops are now part of our history – Kings Forest dog ban (against it and then for it), Pottsville, and now the Coronation Drive issue.
    Yes, in 2012 he claimed he would protect the environmental assets of the Tweed, but now, in 2016, we all know how much he can relied upon… he can’t be.
    What Longland shows is that voters need to look very hard at so-called middle-of-the-road candidates. This isn’t difficult – we are just looking for people with honesty and integrity, and some common sense. There are some impressive candidates. There are others – like Longland and Dot Holdem – who were given a go and just bombed out, leaving the Tweed Shire worse off for their participation as councillors.
    We want to vote for people who will do what they say. Unfortunately, Barry Longland isn’t one of them.

  2. These ‘middle of the road’ fence sitting Councilors should be ousted immediately for their non-commitment to protecting our environment and threatened species. The mentality of these people is that of unenlightened neanderthals who are a threat to the Tweed. This is not the time to re-elect these culturally and intellectually backward councilors, they should bow out with any grace they have left in them. The only way ahead for our economy and lifestyle is first protect the ecology, not the reverse.


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