Saving koalas is on the council's agenda.
Saving koalas is on the council's agenda.

Tweed council ups safety ante for koalas

TWEED Shire Council moved to further strengthen its submission in favour of koala protection at the Kings Forest development at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday.  

Just 24 hours before the close of submissions to the Federal Environment Department on the residential estate planned by Leda Developments, the council added a further eight recommendations.   

It comes after the council voted 5-2 to recommend a dog ban to the Federal Government at the 880ha proposed development at its last monthly meeting.   

The fresh recommendations to the Federal Environment Minister carried 5-1 (Warren Polglase against, Phil Youngblutt was absent) were:  

  •  That it review all previous ecological studies of Kings Forest and adopt the most cautionary approach, particularly in regard to Cudgen Paddock and the eastern sections;
  •  Ensure adequate habitat connectivity;
  •  Consider the appropriateness of the location of the main access roads and also the road designs;
  • Ensure effective fencing around the development site and adequate overpasses passes and underpasses;
  •  Ensure adequate compensatory offsets for environmental impacts;
  • Ensure impacts from climate change are accounted for;
  • That cumulative impacts are taken into account and provisions for enhanced environmental outcomes are adequate for the recovery of the local koala population;
  • Ensure environmental lands are fully funded by the developer.

Cr Katie Milne, in support of her notice of motion, said: "It's crunch time for koalas in the Tweed and I believe that every level of government needs to pull out all stops to protect these beautiful and iconic animals.

The only logical option of this development is to insist that if it goes ahead it must be done in the most careful and sensitive manner possible."  

It comes in the same week that Richmond Federal MP Justine Elliot spoke in Parliament about the urgent need to protect the Tweed Coast's koalas and her support for a dog ban at Kings Forest.   

State Labor Shadow Minister and Labor's North Coast spokesperson, Walt Secord, also threw his support behind environment group Team Koala's call for a dog ban.  

Mr Secord called on the State's Environment Minister Robyn Parker to stand up to property developers and demanded she express her support for a dog ban.  

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