Koalas may halt truck stop

THE battle against a proposed truck stop serving the northbound lanes of the Pacific Highway at Chinderah has taken a new twist with claims a protected koala food tree would have to go.

Residents are looking to Tweed Shire Council to enforce rules – only just adopted at last week's council meeting – that protect koala feed trees, particularly forest red gums more than three metres tall within five kilometres of the Tweed coastline.

Nearby homeowner Beckie Twomey says the forest red gum sits on council land but would have to go if a new road was built to a new service station and truck stop.

She said she and neighbours were hoping for support from the Team Koala action group to help prevent the removal of the tree on the access route near her home.

“This tree is protected so we are trying to stop its removal,” she said.

Yesterday a council spokeswoman said the tree protection order did “not prohibit the removal of a koala food tree, but does require consent from council”.

“In this instance, removal of the trees was incorporated into the DA (development application) prior to the introduction of the 2011 TPO (tree protection order).

“Suitable conditions with regard to offsetting the loss of both trees (in particular the forest red gum) were applied.”



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