A mother and baby koala.
A mother and baby koala. Jason Voglsinger

Golf course or koalas?

CONSTRUCTION of a golf course as part of the proposed Kings Forest sub-division would play a leading role in the possible extinction of koalas on the Tweed Coast within 50 years, according to Tweed Shire Council officers.

The claim is contained in a lengthy and scathing Tweed Shire Council report into revised Kings Forest plans to be presented to councillors at the October 20 ordinary meeting.

Team Koala campaigner Jenny Hayes is urging councillors to put their weight behind the report and endorse it before it is sent to the NSW Department of Planning as the council's official submission.

The last time a report into Kings Forest was presented to councillors they voted to only “note” the report, rather than endorse it - a decision that outraged Ms Hayes.

The New South Wales Department of Planning tore up Leda Group's original plans for the development, so this is the second chance for councillors to back council officers' views on the project.

While the report details a multitude of issues with the Kings Forest plans, Ms Hayes' primary concern is the Koala Plan of Management, and plans for the golf course, which are a direct threat to the survival of koalas on the Tweed Coast.

“Councillors really need to comprehend what the officers are saying. This is a really big decision; the council submission is very important and its own officers are very unhappy with the Koala Plan of Management,” she said.

“I believe this is a very, very important time and councillors must take stock of what the council officers are saying and endorse this report, then send it to the Department of Planning in Sydney.”

Ms Hayes said Leda Group should scrap plans for the golf course and leave the land for koala habitat so future residents could appreciate the rare marsupials.

“The area has so much to offer; why not take advantage of what the Tweed has already got. Why not take advantage of these amazing koalas?” she said. “This Kings Forest could be so nice and really focus on wildlife. It could be like Koala Beach, which has become a very desirable place to live. The people love having no cats and dogs and take pride in where they live.”

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