Demand protection for endangered koalas at Black Rocks, Pottsville NSW

The local community voted Councillor Barry Longland into council believing he would protect the environment. Over the last two years, he has voted against effective protection for endangered Black Rocks koalas. He has been the main instigator for the koala protection gate to be replaced with a grid, and he also approved a Men’s Shed on the sports field. Both of these things will increase the human footprint and cause more disturbance, noise, and stress for the koalas.

Koalas naturally need 18-20 hours sleep a day. If their habitat is reduced and they are disturbed by humans constantly, they suffer sleep deprivation and stress that can lead to chlamdyia outbreaks within that community of koalas. Chlamydia can cause blindness, infertility, and even death in koalas.

In the last two years, six Black Rocks koalas have died from stress-related disease. In December 2015, another two Black Rocks koalas were found with conjunctivitis/chlamydia, one of them a joey. Out of a small population of an estimated 15-35 koalas in the Pottsville/Black Rocks area, this high rate of death is unsustainable.

We acknowledge that Councillor Longland holds the balance of power in council. Therefore his motions and votes are critically important. Please sign this petition demanding that he make an urgent rescission motion on removing the koala-protection gate and approval of the Men’s Shed, and put in a motion for revegetation of the Black Rocks sports field and enclavement (locking the gates permanently) of the koala habitat and access road area.

Tweed Coast koalas are in severe decline, and Councillor Longland has the power to save them. Councillor Longland, please save our koalas before it's too late!

To Councillor Barry Longland and Tweed Shire Council


We the people of Uki, Tweed Shire, Australia and the world call on you to please act urgently to protect Tweed Coast’s koalas. The Tweed Coast Koala Habitat Study 2015 shows koala populations are in severe decline north of Koala Beach and 'stable' at Pottsville/Black Rocks. However, stable only means the same low levels as 2010.

In December 2015 another two Black Rocks koalas have been found with conjunctivitis/chlamydia, one of them a joey. Chlamydia is linked to stress-related disturbance/noise and there is clearly already too much stress at Black Rocks without adding more. In the last two years, six Black Rocks koalas have died of stress-related disease. Out of a small population of an estimated 15-35 in the Pottsville/Black Rocks area, this high rate of death is unsustainable.


Black Rocks koalas have no protection under the Council’s Tweed Coast Koala Plan of Management (KPoM). Their own independent KPoM is outdated and its recommendations - only small dogs in enclosed yards, no dangerous breeds, monitoring every 12 months for 3 years - are not implemented.

Cr Longland, in the Tweed Valley Weekly 18th September, 2014 issue you said, "I am keen to protect koalas and have them thrive." We voted you into council believing you would protect the environment. Over the last two years you have voted against effective protection for Black Rocks koalas. You have also been the main instigator for the koala protection gate to be replaced with a grid, and you approved a Men’s Shed on the sports field. Both of these things will increase the human footprint and cause more disturbance, noise, and stress for the koalas.


We acknowledge that you hold the balance of power in council. Therefore your motions and votes are CRITICALLY IMPORTANT. Please call for an urgent rescission motion on removing the koala-protection gate and the Men’s Shed, and put in a motion for revegetation and enclavement for Black Rocks sports field. You have the power to save these koalas for the sake of Tweed Coast koalas. Barry, please don’t let us, and the koalas, down.


 

Update #42 years ago
We had a new council election and Barry Longland was voted out of council. Hooray! However a new councillor Labor Reece Byrnes has taken his place and is pushing for that men's shed to get built ASAP! Please write to him RByrnes@tweed.nsw.gov.au and tell him you don’t want a men’s shed at Black Rocks. He believes the whole community of Pottsville want it there so hundreds of emails to him will help.
Update #33 years ago
Dear signators, I just included Tweed Shire council as target for this petition because last time it was only addressed to Cr Longland and they refused to include the text in the minutes. Next council meeting I will represent it now there are over 102,000 signatures. This petition is starting to rattle them! Thanks so much for sharing.
Update #23 years ago
Today we hit 98,944 signatures! We presented our petition with 33,955 signatures to Tweed Shire Council 18/2/16. In response Cr Longland has called for a 'referendum' of Pottsville residents. See http://www.echo.net.au/2016/02/151743/#comment-2857490 - We will continue the pressure until he complies or loses support at the council elections in September. Thanks everyone who signed - please keep spreading the word. The more momentum this petition gathers the more pressure on Cr Longland.
Update #13 years ago
Fantastic effort everyone! We have reached 31,137 signatures and will be presenting them to Cr Barry Longland in a few days. Will keep you informed of the outcome.
If Tweed Shire council does not revegetate the Black Rocks sports field and enclave (fully fence) the entire koala habitat for the koalas then we will be forced to send a petition to the Minister for the Environment asking him to please step in.
A huge thank you!
Menkit Prince
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