The death of four koalas at Meerschaum Vale near the Pacific Highway upgrade has prompted calls for a monitoring program and more funds for wildlife carers.
Greens MP Tamara Smith said she had seen evidence that four koalas had died in the past four weeks.
‘I am saddened and appalled at the loss of Ballina’s koalas, not through disease but as a result of traffic and the disruption caused by highway construction,’ Ms Smith said.
‘One koala was run over by a vehicle near the Eaton’s Quarry site, one died as a result of not being able to find enough food near the Thurgates Lane site, a joey died after its mother went missing by Wardell Rd and another died after wandering onto farmland where koalas have not been seen for 20 years.
‘These koalas have been displaced by the cutting down of habitat at Meerschaum Vale, they have become disorientated by removal of food trees and distressed by increased vehicle noise, dust, rock blasting and heavy vibration rollers.
‘I am calling on the NSW government to establish a monitoring programme to ensure that Ballina’s koalas are located, tracked and given health checks. I also call on them to increased funding for local wildlife rescue services.
‘This already vulnerable koala population will not be able to withstand the current rate of one death per week.
‘The government needs to take action now to save the local population of our national icon.’.