Tweed koalas under threat
A NEW study into koala numbers on the Tweed Coast is set to reveal the marsupials' plight in the area is worse than first thought.
Team Koala president Jenny Hayes said the study would reveal the situation was “extremely desperate”.
“Dr Stephen Phillips is studying the area and the situation seems to be far more serious than we could have predicted,” she said.
“This is definitely the last stand for the koalas.”
Kings Forest, which is set to be the site of a 5000 home township, should it be approved by the State Government, is one of the only areas on the Tweed Coast where koalas remain, Ms Hayes said.
She believes for the koalas to have any chance, minimum standards for koala protection need to be put in place in the development.
“The present development application for Kings Forest is absolutely ridiculous, they are allowing dogs and cats and not allowing for an overpass or underpass on a four-lane carriageway that will carry 16,000 cars a day.
“How on earth are koalas going to get past that? They can only crawl like babies, they are not going to be able to get through that.”
According to Mr Hayes this is the first time a study has been done on Tweed Coast koalas in at least 13 years.
“Hopefully we will be able to look at the facts and at least keep the koala from dying out on the Tweed Coast.”
“I am just hoping it will be in time, but who knows, the situation is desperate now.”
She didn't know why it had taken so long for another koala study to take place.
“This should have been done 13 years ago ... actually, it should have been done 20 years ago, let's hope it is not too late.”
Ms Hayes was appointed to the Tweed Coast Koala Advisory Group last Tuesday along with Lorraine Vass, Ralph Kraeme, Rhonda James, Simon Graham and Anita Mudge.