Dear Editor: Koalas, hospital kudos & roads on the mind

Revegetate koala food sites

I WISH to report the very sad news of the euthanasia of one of the koalas which had been residing on the edge of the Black Rocks sports field access road.

He was almost blind from conjunctivitis which is a symptom of a stress-related disease called chlamydia.

After capture by Friends of the Koala volunteers, the koala was transferred to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for treatment of his conjunctivitis.

However, tests revealed that he was also suffering from internal injuries.

He also had a bone marrow disease. There was no way of saving him.

Our Tweed Coast koalas are on the brink of extinction, with about 144 known koalas left as inappropriate developments claw back and fragment their habitat.

Of these, about 35 koalas reside and breed in the Pottsville Wetlands. These statistics provide a reality check that we cannot afford to have any more deaths.

Evidence of 31 koala sightings in the core koala habitat close to the Black Rocks sports field and access road site has been documented over the past two years.

Two breeding locations have been identified, one intersected by the access road and the other nearby. At least four koalas reside and breed in this area.

Now that the Black Rocks sports field site has been identified as a koala breeding hub in a strategic location within a wildlife corridor, protection of this area provides a unique opportunity to stave off koala extinction in the Pottsville Wetlands.

I believe the best way to achieve this is to remove the stress factors associated with the Black Rocks sports field by revegetating the site with koala food trees (as recommended by leading local ecologists).

Lyn Dickinson, Pottsville


Hospital home visits way to go

CONGRATULATIONS for the service provided by the Tweed Hospital nurses who treated me in my own home over three days.

A course of antibiotics intravenously administered and being managed in my own home made it easier for me and my family.

This also made sense, because I was not taking up an always much-needed bed, I had not heard of this service before but have been told it has been running for a number of years.

Again congratulations to the staff at the Tweed Hospital and thank you.

Janet Rogers, Tweed Heads


Get behind our ABC campaign

CITIZENS of Australia, and residents of the Tweed in particular, currently have access to two national broadcasters that inform, educate and entertain through free-to-air TV, radio and online.

There are few countries in the world that have access to such high quality networks as hallmarks of a vibrant democracy.

As the federal treasurer prepares his budget, supporters of our national broadcasters, ABC and SBS, are increasingly nervous about possible cut-backs to these important public institutions.

If projected cut-backs take place we can imagine a media landscape in Australia where there is no balanced or serious analysis of public policy, religion, science and the arts, where there is no significant coverage of women's sports, no focus on children's programs or classical music and no opportunity to view quality programs without commercial interruption or influence.

Tweed residents who feel that the ABC and SBS provide a vital service to the Australian community can show their support at a public meeting to be held tomorrow (Sunday, March 9) at the Wedgetail Retreat, 12 Wedgetail Court, Dulgaigan, from 3.30-5.30pm. RSVP Sandy Copley

Neville Jennings, Murwillumbah


Kennedy Dr an ongoing sore

MAYOR Longland and his Left-Green council are hardly doing the job. I wish to list my complaints:

1. The goat track, also known as Kennedy Dr, is an ongoing sore as one of the worst arterial roads in NSW (carrying 20,000 motor vehicles every day). Vehicle owners are reporting damaged suspensions.

2.  Money has been allocated by the Abbott Government for the purpose of fixing Kennedy Dr ($3.2million) and Mayor Longland has never commented on it. (Money has been spent sealing other roads.)

3.  There have been alleged acts, such as trespass by two councillors, and no public apology or censure by the mayor or his council.

4.  The cost of water to residents has more than doubled in less than 10 years and currently increasing from $2.25 per kilolitre to $2.50 per kilolitre. Combined with electricity costs, it is a whack on the cost of living for Tweed residents.The water charges indicate the shift in council's attitude from provision of a resource to its ownership of God's rain, and An essential consumable has become a revenue maker.

5.  Many residents living in units, duplexes etc. have only one water meter. This is a legacy of past bad decision-making. However, notwithstanding council now makes revenue from town water (as it appears), they have the cheek to charge residents who want to do the right thing and install a meter. which costs over $400.

Finally, Mayor Barry Longland has looked for notoriety promoting that residents wear scarves; banning bottled water, and more recently plugging for a walking/bicycle track along the disused railway track.

Isn't it time Mayor Longland refocused his priorities?

Warren James, Tweed Heads


Environment wins well worthwhile

RON Cooper and I co-operated for a number of years on environmental issues, development proposals and supporting legislation and in the production of a community newsletter.

For us, facts were paramount.

His March 1 letter demonstrates that factual information and factual commentary are now not important to him.

Lot 490 no longer exists and there are no plans to put a multi-storey carpark on the beachfront there.

Yes, for a short period an area of land on the southern side of Cudgen Creek bridge was officially referred to by Council as Lot 490.

But after Casuarina Way cut through the site, subdivision occurred. There are now two separate lots.

Lot 2, approximately 15ha, is under environmental protection and Lot 1 provides approximately 11ha for an environmentally sensitive commercial enterprise that has potential to raise money for coastline protection.

Over time a win-win situation has been achieved.

For me, the hours spent with others in the early 2000s to keep the beachfront clear of a large three-storey resort and have land adjacent to the creek kept for environmental purposes has been worthwhile.

So has my membership of two groups concerned with the site's management: a government steering committee and a community reference group.

As for the suggestion that plans might exist for a multi-storey carpark at the beach, that has all the signs of deliberately crafted scare-mongering, designed to whip up emotion.

So has the suggestion that an in-government politician might be harbouring such plans.

Let's stick to facts, work towards even-handed outcomes and reject counter-productive party-political side-swiping.

Barbara Fitzgibbon, Kingscliff


Sovereign Borders complete debacle

GENERAL Campbell should never have been appointed to his post with Operation Sovereign Borders. A navy person, preferably retired would have been more suitable.

But nobody connected with this tragic operation can expect to remain untainted because it is the longest-running politicised debacle in my memory.

Jim Banks, Pottsville Beach

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