Koalas added to bar mix
NEWS that a proposed development in Bangalow will include a koala hospital has taken local koala welfare groups by surprise.
The development application for land at 18 Pioneers Crescent, Bangalow as published on the Byron Shire Council's website states there will be re-vegetation of koala trees in conjunction with the 'Koala Hospital' and also include 12 accommodation pods adjacent to the koala tree plantation and hospital, three bars, a brewery, café, retail outlets and performance venue.
Documents stated the purpose built koala hospital "will be managed by a local koala carer's network and will be designed with advice from this carer's network and veterinary practitioners. Injured and sick koalas will be treated and kept at this facility as necessary by this registered organisation”
Ros Irwin from Friends of the Koala said the only local koala carers' network in the Northern Rivers was her organisation and the only group focused solely on re-vegetation of koala food trees is Bangalow Koalas, who work closely with Friends of the Koala.
"The proponent has made no contact regarding the koala hospital with either of our organisations prior to lodging the DA, as he had with Bangalow Koalas in regard to tree planting,” Ms Irwin said.
"When contacted by us he refused to tell us which groups are involved. From our perspective these statements in the DA are suggestive of an attempt to persuade residents that our organisations support this DA. For the record, we both strongly oppose this development for a variety of reasons including that it will put extra traffic onto Hinterland Way, where last year five koalas were killed close to that property, in a known koala kill hot spot, and put at further risk our highly vulnerable koalas.”
President of Bangalow Koalas Linda Sparrow said no wildlife group would put sick and injured wildlife close to a nightclub surrounded by people.
"We are encouraging as many submissions against this DA as possible,” Ms Sparrow said.
Public submissions close on the 20 February 2019.