SEVERAL local conservation groups led a community picnic and gathering in Pottsville today, to voice their concerns for the future of the Tweed Coast Koala population and speak against possible plans to build a men’s shed at Black Rocks Sports Field.
The gathering took place at Ambrose Brown Park in Pottsville from 11am to 1pm and attracted a crowd of around 300 people coming and going throughout the day.
Greens MLC Dawn Walker and Tweed Shire Council Mayor Katie Milne were speakers alongside several members of the Northern Rivers Guardians and Threatened Species Conservation Association.
The focus was around the conservation of local koalas and references to experts who agree the “Tweed Coast Koala is in serious risk of further decline”.
Mayor Milne gave an impassioned speech and was reduced to tears over a recent encounter she had with a koala that had been killed on the side of the road.
Mayor Milne was in tears while describing her journey to the council chambers to find the koala.
“I’m having a bad week… two days ago while traveling to council I came across a dead koala on the side of the road,” she said.
Mayor Milne explained the story as well as acknowledging the division being caused over the Pottsville & District Men’s Shed being located at the Black Rocks Sports Field.
Mayor Milne said she had tried “to discuss the matter with Geoff Provest MP and the State Government.
“The State Government now has an application as to whether Council can purchase one of two private properties for the site to be built – be it would appear we may be too late.”
Mayor Milne was referring to a Council meeting vote to be take on Thursday, March 16, which by early predictions appears to have the numbers.
“Although the likelihood of getting approval before the next meeting is unlikely. It will now be up to Men’s Shedders (Pottsville & District Men’s Shed) who have to make the decision.”
More to come…