Calls for koala management plan
KOALA activist Jenny Hayes is warning developers to implement koala management practices or be responsible for the demise of the only remaining koalas in Kings Forest.
The 856 hectare development at Kings Forest, approved in September, will include 23 residential precincts with a capacity for 4500 houses, a neighbourhood centre, 57-hectare golf course, two public schools, public transport routes and 17 hectares of open public space.
“With only 130 koalas are estimated to be using the Kings Forest area, we can only hope the remaining population will be able to survive,” the Team Koala president said.
“It is outrageous that the Kings Forest development allows cats and dogs and does not even factor into the plans an overpass on a main access road.
“If we have developers do the right thing, there is hope, but the situation is extremely grim if developers don't implement best koala management practices.
Tweed Heads Environment Group president Richard Murray was pointing his finger at the Tweed Shire Council.
“While new koala refuges are being created in South-East Queensland, Tweed Shire Council is yet to provide protection for Tweed Coast's last three koala colonies,” he said.
“For the koala to have any chance of survival at Kings Forest, minimum standards for koala protection need to be put in place.
“The proposed four-lane highway should require koala protective fencing through ‘core' koala habitat together with fauna under/overpasses.
“Since dog attacks account for 10 per cent mortality on koalas, prohibiting dogs and cats to conserve fauna should be a planning requirement.”
Ms Hayes said the group was not asking for much.
“We are not an extremely aggressive group, we are just asking for the very minimum koala protection, much like what they have at Koala Beach.”
The council's Koala Advisory Committee chairperson, Cr Dot Holdom, said the council had only limited power.
“As discussions go on, we will be able to sit down and discuss the best method to maintain the koala population. Kings Forest has its own separate plan of management.
“But these things do come before council and we all have a responsibility to the koalas.”
Environment and koala groups were urging Tweed residents to make submissions to the council seeking protection for the remaining koalas.