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Byron Shire
March 30, 2023

Koalas being killed

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Cartoon of the week – 29 March 2023

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.

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A tragic loss over the weekend: yet another healthy mum and joey koala from a car hit on Coolamon Scenic Drive, Coorabell.

As is often the case, it was not the driver that stopped to give assistance but a caring family. After picking up the deceased koala, they noticed a live joey moving in the pouch and immediately phoned the Friends of the Koala 24/7 Koala Rescue line.

Rescuers responded to the call immediately, and were devastated to discover that the joey was too young to be viable. A mere six days earlier, a first-time mum was hit and killed at Pelican Bridge on Coraki Road; she also had a 20g male joey in her pouch. Again, the joey was unable to be saved.

Unbelievably, this brings the total known koalas hit or killed by vehicles on our local roads in the Northern Rivers this year to well over 50!

We can no longer be silent while we continue to collect the numerous koalas killed by cars on our roads. It is devastating. It is crushing. It is so, so sad. And it is so needless.

It is beyond belief that while all this carnage is going on, government authorities could be doing something proactive like putting in place flashing neon koala faces in known koala kill zones. This is one simple step to take, flashing lights warning of koala habitat areas, similar to school zones, with speed limits reduced to 60km/h in the areas that are so well known to have multiple koala deaths every year. Just from dusk to dawn, when most car hits happen.

It is way beyond time that all motorists knew as well. This would alert drivers to the fact that koalas may be active in this area and it can hopefully encourage drivers to be more cautious as they drive.

This breeding season has seen an unprecedented number of koala deaths, especially healthy breeding females with joeys. These koalas are critical to the survival of the species and survival of the local colonies in the Northern Rivers.

I am writing this letter as I, and fellow koala rescuers, are at our wits’ end and just want to see an end to these meaningless koala deaths.

Come on government agencies, local councils, transport authorities, have the foresight to make a stand for koalas.

It is way, way past time that simple steps like these are put into place.

We have to put into the minds of drivers as they are driving through these areas that a koala, or other animal, could possibly be on the road around that bend or over the next crest. Appropriate signage can make a difference.

Dale Viola, Bangalow

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  1. how about not planting Koala habitat alongside roads and residential areas like Bangalow, just so that you can look at them for the sake of human enjoyment? what did you think would happen?

    If you were really 100% about Koalas and not about the human enjoyment of them, then all plantings would be created far away from these busy roads and neighbourhoods.

    baffles me how un-ecological these koala charity organisations are…


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