23.2 C
Byron Shire
January 31, 2023

Bangalow locals call for help to protect koala corridor

Latest News

Medicinal cannabis; a better way forward

For the first time ever, I am living my truths and no one is trying to hurt me because of it. This is a much better way. 

Other News

Saint Bob of the Greens in Lennox Head

With hardly a vacant seat in the auditorium, Bob Brown kept the party faithful’s eyes, ears and hearts glued...

For Tony Barry

The Drill Hall Theatre Company’s season of Andrew Bovell’s When the Rain Stops Falling is dedicated to the memory...

Greyhound nightmare

Has the greyhound racing industry no shame? The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has condemned an invasive and painful greyhound breeding...

Editorial – Quick! Tax the wich and tax them, vewy wuffly

Oxfam delivered a stark message in its current annual report, Survival of the Richest, which focuses on global wealth distribution and inequality.

Vinnies

What have they done to our Vinnies here in Mullum? They’ve killed it! It has reopened and it is...

Good results for locals in Yamba criterion

Byron Bay Cycling Club members shook up C-grade at the criterion racing held in Yamba last Sunday. Conditions made for a great morning of cycling despite the high humidity that made the road surface challenging. All riders were able to make their way around the course safely, according to the Yamba Cycling Club report.

Locals gathered on Sunday afternoon to at Rifle Range Road in Bangalow to protest clearing in their Koala corridor. Photo Eloise Farrow-Smith

Sunday saw between 60 to 80 people gathered, with Bangalow Koalas, on Rifle Range Road in Bangalow to highlight the dangers of the unapproved clearing done by the owner of 99 Acres on the local koala corridor.

‘The top of Rifle Range Rd is a crucial link and the start of our Koala Wildlife Corridor that has grown exponentially over the past four years,’ said president of Bangalow Koalas, Linda Sparrow.

One of the two koalas spotted by locals during their walk to view the area that had been cleared. Photo
Geoffrey Snelgrove

According to Bangalow Koalas the development application (DA) that 99 Acres has put into Byron Shire Council, and is currently on exhibition, proposes to move the existing driveway to facilitate building a new house on the property. The new driveway is proposed alongside the koala corridor within the 20m exclusion zone that is required around koala trees under the Byron Shire Council’s DCP (development control plan) that included this area as of 10 December, 2020.

The owner of 99 Acres started clearing within the koala corridor, on crown land, without consent just under two weeks according to Bangalow Koalas president, Linda Sparrow.

‘A stop work was issued personally by council yesterday (Thursday, 28 January) – late [that day] work was still continuing and council were alerted. This landowner was serially non-compliant under the previous DA they had for four tourist cabins in 2017. When the four tourist cabins were put on the property several years ago there were restrictions put on the title so that they can’t do any work around the koala corridor.

‘Now they have cleared camphor and other trees on council land to facilitate their driveway before their DA has had submissions close or is approved. They have cleared up to only meters away from where koala trees have been planted as part of the conditions of his [the owners] last DA,’ Ms Sparrow pointed out.

The second koala was spotted in a camphor tree adjacent to the area that had been cleared. Photo
Geoffrey Snelgrove

Koala heartland

Local resident and active member of Bangalow Koalas Peter Doherty told those gathered that this site was Bangalow Koalas ‘heartland, our genesis. I live here and I thought “wow” they are in my backyard and this is where Banglaow Koalas started. We are definitely here [today] because of koalas.’

Some people there claimed that as it was only camphor that was cleared, and it is a weed, that therefore there was no issue with clearing it. However, Ms Sparrow pointed out that camphor trees play an important role as transition and shade trees in the koala corridor.

‘When you are looking to remove them this has to be planned and have suitable trees available to replace them,’ said Ms Sparrow.

During the 200m that the group walked they spotted two koalas. The second one, which was ill with conjunctivitis, was in a camphor tree next to the area that had been cleared.

It is clearly established that the reduction in habitat through clearing and the impact of human habitation has had a serious impact on koalas numbers and health. Prior to the devastating and unprecedented bushfires last year they species was already listed as ‘threatened’ and scientists were predicting that NSW koalas would be gone by 2050 if serious action was not taken to protect them.

According to National Geographic ‘A report released June 30 by the New South Wales parliament estimates that the bushfires killed at least 5,000 koalas – as much as a third of the state population – and that the fires destroyed 24 per cent of koala habitat on public lands’.

Comment on DA

Bangalow Koalas are calling on concerned locals to take a look at the DA online at Byron Shire Council and put in submissions.

‘The current DA will cut through a vital link in the koala corridor and increase the amount of traffic that will be accessing the site in a highly sensitive area in all likelihood leading to an increase in koala deaths,’ said Ms Sparrow.

While the submission closing date is 2 February Byron Shire Council have confirmed with The Echo online that they will be accepting late submissions.

To find out about the submission process look for Bangalow Koalas Facebook page or look at the DA for 75 Rifle Range Rd, Bangalow 2479 NSW (LOT: 39 DP: 625255) and to make a submission.

♦ The owner of 99 Acres, Barry Wain, declined to comment.


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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Koalas, they ‘Tree Rats’ ( thank you to John Barilaro, NOT ) that are holding up the completion of the task of deforestation.

  2. Yep ! we were there yesterday at Rifle Range RD Bangalow to oppose the clearing of Koala habitat .When I moved here years ago, I never thought Koalas would be so endangered as they are in this region. This sad news & awakening came as a huge shock to my system. This particular DA is right where we saw 2 Koalas, they were on the very road proposed for a B & B development. Increased traffic , further clearing, increased disturbance is MORE than a Koala can bear.THEY ARE NOT GONNA MAKE IT INTO 2050, I hate to say this but from what I read & experience their days are numbered. This reality is heart breaking & keeps me awake at night. Every where you look wildlife are at risk, too many people on the planet & too much destruction of the innocent. How could individuals who say they care about Koalas, put their lives at risk ? How could they not care about our incredible/fascinating & unique wildlife ? I will never understand this, but I guess you just need to follow the money trail. I despair…

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Saint Bob of the Greens in Lennox Head

With hardly a vacant seat in the auditorium, Bob Brown kept the party faithful’s eyes, ears and hearts glued to the stage on Saturday...

Environment law fails to protect threatened species

A University of Queensland finding says that the federal environmental laws are failing to mitigate against Australia’s extinction crisis.

Dr Philip Nitschke to visit Lismore

Controversial founder and director of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International, Dr Philip Nitschke will hold a free public meeting on NSW’s new Voluntary Assisted Dying Act at the Lismore Workers Club on Saturday.

Old ANZ Mullum

The old ANZ Bank building on Burringbar Street in Mullum is now a bathhouse; such yuppy city indulgence to far removed from being authentic...