26.5 C
Byron Shire
November 29, 2022

New koala sanctuary welcome – but is it in the right place?

Latest News

Rip Starters light up twilight cricket

The Rip Starters have played big hitting cricket to go to the top of the Byron Bay twilight cricket...

Other News

Ballina ‘Steps Up’ against domestic and family violence

The Ballina community came out in force to ‘Step Up Against Domestic Violence on Friday.

A treasured community asset

The Bowlo, a treasured community asset in Bangalow very popular with young families, is now destined to be part...

Sunday choral celebration to raise funds for new Syrian refugee families

Two Syrian refugee families have been welcomed on the Northern Rivers in recet months as part of a national resettlement pilot program featuring just ten families.

So many strings to his bow

Andy Jans-Brown is a multidisciplinary artist, who works through the mediums of film, music, theatre and art. As a...

Cartoon of the week – 23 November 2022

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

Car drives into side of Byron homelessness cottage

A key homelessness service in Byron Bay is undergoing significant repairs after a car drove into part of the facility last week.

Posing for photos for the media gathered for yesterday’s funding announcement were (from left) Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, Deputy Premier of NSW, John Barilaro, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary wildlife keeper Heidi Patrick with the centre of attention, 10-month-old Chardy, Mayor of Tweed, Cr Katie Milne and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital senior veterinarian, Michael Pyne.

Tweed Mayor Katie Milne, has welcomed a $370,000 commitment from the NSW Government to build a koala holding facility at Pottsville.

But Lismore-based Friends of the Koala have questioned the wisdom of the site’s location and wonder why they weren’t consulted regarding its establishment.

The facility will be established on a 100-hectare site in Pottsville dedicated to koala habitat conservation, which was purchased by the NSW Government last year. It adjoins Tweed Council’s Koala Beach bushland reserve and the Cudgen Nature Reserve.

Cr Milne was joined by Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for the announcement.

A media release said the holding facility will allow researchers to conduct vaccine trials to tackle the disease chlamydia in koalas. Koala food trees will also be planted to provide the koalas’ food requirements.

Koala food needed

But Friends of the Koala president Ros Irwin told Echonetdaily that while she ‘doesn’t have a problem’ with the holding cell concept, she questions whether the site contains enough established koala feed trees to adequately provide for more koalas.

‘Currumbin [hospital] is bursting at the seams with koalas, so they are looking at where they can put koalas for treatment and assessment.

‘If you are going to have a facility to house koalas you have to have food for them – and have it easily accessible.

‘Where they are looking at putting them there’s not much koala feed at the moment and certainly not enough to supply Currumbin,’ Ms Irwin said.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary wildlife keeper Heidi Patrick cuddles 10-month-old Chardy at yesterday’s funding announcement. Photo supplied.

Tackling chlamydia

Cr Milne said, however, that the funding was most welcome and would help develop protection programs for koalas from chlamydia.

‘Chlamydia is a dreadful threat to local koala populations and research into this insidious disease and others such as retrovirus is vital to the protection of koalas here and throughout Australia,’ she said.

‘The ability to assist researchers and hasten the full use of a vaccine for chlamydia is vital to the recovery of the Tweed Coast endangered koala population. It will also benefit all of the more than 200 koalas from the Northern Rivers that Currumbin Wildlife Hospital treats each year.’

She said the council was ‘proud to have played a major role in the initiation of this project and welcomes the innovative approach to working across levels of government and even state borders in the interests of good outcomes for koalas.’

‘Although there’s a lot more that needs to be done, especially with land clearing laws, I congratulate the local member [Geoff Provest] and the NSW Government for this step forward towards a healthier future for Tweed Coast koalas,’ she said.

Tweed Shire Council will assist the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to develop and operate the Pottsville koala sanctuary.

Is it in right spot?

But while welcoming the funding, Ms Irwin said that a koala hospital was desperately needed in the Northern Rivers – and that should be sited in the Lismore LGA.

‘The Tweed Coast has a very small population of koalas and they are under great threat and decreasing,’ she said.

‘Of the koalas from the various LGAs that we’re responsible for, Tweed is a long, long way down from Lismore.

‘As well as Lismore you’ve got Byron Bay, Ballina and Richmond Valley, all of which have koalas that need care and attention.

‘If we were talking about a hospital, the most efficient use in the Northern Rivers would be locating it in the Lismore LGA because that’s about halfway between the two existing hospitals at Port Macquarie and Currumbin,’ Ms Irwin said.

Yesterday’s announcement is a component of the recently announced $45 million NSW Koala Strategy, a long-term strategy to support at-risk populations across the state.

 


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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. “But Lismore-based Friends of the Koala have questioned the wisdom of the site’s location and wonder why they weren’t consulted regarding its establishment.”

    Because Pottsville is in the electorate of Tweed and work closely with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Go and speak with Thomas George if you want funding for something in your electorate.

    Stop crying about “what about this or that” and accept the great news this is.

  2. Why was land needed to be purchased when the faculty could be built inside the Cudgen nature reserve where koalas can live in their food source and it would draw tourists who’s fee’s to see could pay for the on going costs of operation .
    Turn the land already purchased into a Police station or a branch of the Tweed Hospital

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Cinema: Seriously Red

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0RCj3-Pz50 If you’re a fan of Dolly Parton, then this just might be your happy place for the summer. Seriously Red is a rowdy and...

Strong winds and good tides set up a race day of fast sailing on the Tweed River

Matt Andrews with his trusty crew puts Powder Monkeys through its paces. Photo supplied. A big incoming tide and a sustained 20 knots of wind;...

Local tennis players bring home Wendy Saville Cup

Local tennis players Lachlan Johnson, Sylvie Peart, Marielou Baudouin and Onyx Cheong represented the North East region in the U/16 division of the Wendy...

Infatuating audiences

Byron Bay indie-rock outfit The Collifowers have made a habit of infatuating audiences all along the east coast with their high energy live show...