Deborah Lilly, Mullumbimby
Identified by Arakwal elders as culturally and historically significant, part of an Aboriginal walking track from Koonyum Range to the coast goes through the Tallowood Ridge development in Mullumbimby.
In the original concept plan, recognition, and a commitment was made to preserve this important track, which is koala habitat and a wildlife corridor.
On the plan it was named ‘The Shelter Belt’. Diminished in name, in status and in reality, this heritage track has been pillaged. Obscured by fences, neighbours’ washing lines and kids’ playground equipment, trees have been cut down to feed fire pits instead of koalas.
Who is meant to be taking care of this walking track? This public reserve is meant to be a thoroughfare and yet there are no signs explaining its significance.
The incursion has been gradual, with each stage of Tallowood cutting further into the ridgeline, land recontoured with stone walls supporting the engougement. Roads replace the wildlife buffer zone.
I have a particular affection for this track with its magnificent sweeping views from Wollumbin to Mt Chincogan along Main Arm Valley. Now the ridgeline is fast being consumed by Mcboxes.
Byron Shire Council will soon assess Tallowood development stage seven. This is an opportunity to call for preservation of what’s left of this important open space to nourish body, mind and soul.