Pottsville gathering sees passionate views on Black Rocks

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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…

1 COMMENT

  1. I note that opposition to the Men’ Shed at Black Rocks are proposing the use of Lot 3 in Coronation Drive as an alternative.
    How can they, in good faith, take a stand on conservation given that Lot 3 is subject to a “Tree Preservation Order 2011 (Koala Habitat) ” and is subject to remediation and proposed Curlew habitat?
    “”It is also noted that Lot 3 has been raised as an alternative site for the Pottsville Men’s Shed. The following statement was made with regard to Lot 3 within Council Report for meeting Thursday 17 November 2016 with regard to the Licence for Pottsville Men’s Shed at Black Rocks. This parcel is managed by Council as Trustee of Reserve 74096 for Rubbish Depot and Sanitation Purposes and is known to be contaminated. The parcel is also affected by Tree Preservation Order 2011 (Koala Habitat) and will require the removal of trees for any development, as well as clarity on the contamination and remediation required, which should be undertaken by the Crown prior to any consideration of this parcel for development. Further, any tenure, must be for activities that fall within the reserve purpose, if Council, as Trustee grants a lease or licence. Any other activity, such as the Men’s Shed, will require a direct lease or licence from the Minister, and as the land requires remediation before any tenure can be extended, it is considered unlikely that the Crown will grant such tenure for this site.”
    The unlikeliness of Crown to grant the tenure is basedon the following wrt the preschool:
    “As a courtesy, Council forwarded the draft condition for the Bush Stone Curlew Habitat
    Restoration Area on Lot 3 to Crown Lands as landowner who responded with the following:

    ‘We have discussed Council’s proposal and how it relates to current policies relating to
    development on Crown land. It is the department’s position that the proposed Lot 3
    remains unencumbered from development on adjoining land. The department will
    therefore not consent to, nor authorise, the use of proposed Lot 3 for any purpose
    (including offset plantings) associated with the proposed preschool development. ‘

    Given the lack of support from Crown Lands, alternative solutions were accepted by Council
    officers with regard to the mitigation of impacts to flora and fauna that result from the
    preschool expansion. ‘”

    Additionally, the 2 sites being considered have been described as having “a primary purpose core koala habitat”:

    “Officers have to date, been working in accordance with the resolution of Council to locate an
    alternate site for the permanent home of the Mens Shed. Despite significant progress being
    made with the identification of two alternate sites which would have a primary purpose of
    core koala habitat but which would also have the potential to couple as a longer term home
    for the Mens Shed. No funding has yet been secured to acquire these sites noting that both
    are currently in private ownership. Councillors may also wish to refer to Outstanding
    Resolution 17 November 2016. ”

    A convenient omission?

    All of this information is readily available on the Council website.

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