Who would not get pleasure in seeing this healthy young Koala peering down at them from the foliage?
It was sighted in Paperbark and then later Flooded Gum in Sid and Eileen Gill Park in Elizabeth Street, Iluka all day on Wednesday, 8th February 2017 and is one of those koalas giving lie to the myth much favoured by developers that the local koala population is functionally extinct.
The amateur photographer on the spot, Ms. Barto stated: May be the same koala sighted in Elizabeth St. on 5th January. Both sightings are within 250 metres of Hickey St. Iluka D/A site. One of the criteria for assessing critical koala habitat (E.P.B.C Critical Koala Habitat assessment tool) is that one or more koalas are sighted within 2 kms. of the edge of impact area, in this case the Hickey St. (D/A) site, within the last 5 years.
Passions run deep in Iluka not only for koalas, but also more generally for protecting biodiversity for future generations.
Letter to the Editor in the Clarence Valley Independent on 8 February 2017:
Thank you and great work Essential Energy. They got here pretty qiuckly and it was a great relocation to the relative safety of the bush across the road.
This situation came about because of a dog chasing the koala. Hopefully the koala headed back into the Bundjalung National Park (to the East of this location) and to relative safety.
This bush heading back to the national park is going to be largely cleared and broken up if the 160 lot subdivision gets approval. The re-submitted DA still does not include a continuous vegetation corridor for koalas to move in a east west or west east direction!
North Coast Voices was not alone in noticing this comment, as one other recipient of Baker's email made clear when he told the councilor: "I find your comments not only highly offensive, but, given your supposedly impartial decision-making role as Councillor, deeply disturbing."
To which the property developing Cr. Baker's insouciant reply (again cc'd to this blog) was; "It's unfortunate that you are disturbed and offended. Surely that's some personal issue that can't be blamed only on my willingness to state the obvious?
And people wonder why - when all the world loves koalas - they are fast disappearing from this state's coastal landscape?
When deciding to send his reply email as "Reply All", Cr. Baker made a conscious choice to also make his personal views known to council staff having some responsibility for and/or carriage of formal advice to Council-in-the-Chamber in relation to DA SUB2015/0034. Thus muddying the waters considerably, given it is a number of concerned residents' understanding that a final staff report and recommendation on the development application is yet to be delivered.