Residents fear fire threat
KOALA Beach residents are worried a lack of fire maintenance is putting their community at risk.
Concerns with the Tweed Shire Council's alleged reduction in the clearing of roadside gutters and bushland has led to worries of a fire devastating the area.
Sandy Squires, who has lived in the area for a decade, said a fire which broke out near Koala Beach two weeks ago has the community on high alert.
She said she wants the Council to monitor the area's fire safety more closely.
"When we first moved here there was quite a bit of maintenance with slashing and clearing gutters," Mrs Squires said.
"(Currently) nearly every street is filled with dry debris."
A Fire and Rescue NSW spokeswoman the Australia Day fire burnt approximately two hectares of grassland and bushland.
The fire, which began just after 8pm, required nine crews from the Fire and Rescue NSW and Rural Fire Service. Fellow Koala Beach resident Chris Knapp said the community wanted more assurance from the Tweed Shire Council that fire safety in the region was a high priority. "Council's bushfire management is ambiguous at best and we would love some communication around preparedness and what they are doing for prevention," he said.
"We live on the back of one of the fire barriers where there is a lot of dry debris.
"Some of the vegetation is breaching the barrier and we would like it held back."
A statement from the Tweed Shire Council said the area's upkeep was up to standard and a crew would be in the area early next week.
"Koala Beach has a well-planned and maintained asset protection zone network that had a major upgrade in early 2018," the statement read.
"Council's reserves, including Koala Beach, are managed in accordance with the Far North Coast Bushfire Risk Management Plan as per the NSW Rural Fires Act and Council actively collaborates with the Rural Fire Service on fire management.
"Council is going to send a crew in early next week to do a clean-up."