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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Tweed Coast koalas dying out

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This week another Pottsville Wetlands koala was euthanased with symptoms of stress-related disease. This is one of three euthanased in the past three months in an area where some local residents have indicated they believe koalas are happy in the presence of humans and their dogs.

Tweed Coast koalas are dropping like flies. There are very few left – so few that their numbers could not be determined in the 2015 Koala Study. Are we going to sit back and watch the remaining koalas suffer the same fate until our local koala population is extinct? Or are we going to pull together as a community and do whatever it takes to save them?

We could start by listening to koala experts such as John Callaghan (10/6/2015): ‘If the Tweed Coast koala population is to be afforded a realistic chance for survival and recovery over the longer term, a precautionary approach will be necessary and the future of each remaining koala will be critical’.

We could also listen to koala expert Dr Steve Phillips’ (24/2/2016) advice to the Environmental Defenders Office: ‘I am of the opinion that there is strong likelihood of a significant impact on the Pottsville Wetlands – Black Rocks local koala population if the proposed action (men’s shed at Black Rocks) was to proceed’.

At the last Tweed Shire Council, meeting a resolution was passed for Tweed MP Geoff Provest to provide a report on suitable Crown Lands sites for a men’s shed which would not impact on our koalas or other threatened species.

Now is the time for our new council, the state government and the community to support a win/win for men shedders and koalas, i.e. secure a permanent site for the men’s shed and give our fragile koalas a chance to rest and recover to sustainable levels.

Dave Norris, Pottsville


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