I will Jail you and Feed you

Koalas on the Tweed Coast, Northern New South Wales,  face possible further imprisonment behind fences, without opportunity to interact with surrounding wild populations. Other native animals, caught behind this proposed fencing will also be imprisoned.

More bluecray KOALA articles can be found on this link HERE. (bluecray.org- Environmental Advocacy for the Mt Warning Caldera Region of NE NSW and SE QLD.)

Bluecray.org BIODIVERSITY LINKS : –  some useful  links for Biodiversity, Flora, Fauna, Koalas, Ecology and Catchment Management – Tweed Shire, NSW, Australia

PLANNING GUIDELINES FOR KOALA CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY – C McAlpine – 2007:- search results bluecray environmental search engine

SEPP 44 koala plan of management -information and links at bluecray environmental search engine

Nature Conservation Council (NSW) and Koalas – June 2010 – Assessment of Koala’s eligibility for listing as a threatened species under EPBC Act

LEP’s and SEPP’s at EDO (Environmental Defenders Office) – Factsheets to help you understand State Environmental Planning Policies – NSW, Australia

Developers to Face Koala Conservation Test” – article at Daily Telegraph by Vikki Campion (August 20th, 2010).  “Biodiversity program leader Mark Kingston, on the new Tweed Coast Koala Advisory Group, said the study results so far painted a bleak picture.” In this article, there is reference to the idea that the North Coast Koalas could be fenced, imprisoned and locked up  in some type of “sanctuary”. The idea is highly incompetent, when it comes to regional habitat management and authentic Environmental Stewardship.

Whilst the colonial sentiment of imprisonment ( such as to restrict anti social behaviour involved in taking food to survive) combined with the “victorian” attitude of capture and keep may have worked in a bygone era, this is 2010. Koalas have disappeared from the Tweed Coast because no one listened to the Koala Advocates back in the 70’s, 80’s and ’90’s of last century. This is called lack of precaution, and is sometimes used as a reason in Courts of  Law to point out that those in power have acted without due caution and care to future, possible or likely foreseeable events.

Concreting the Coastal 2003 : Clearing and Development Pressures on the NSW Coast 2003 Total Environment Centre PDF – this compiled resource by the TOTAL ENVIRONMENT CENTRE show problematic development, land clearing activity, approvals and proposals in coastal nsw 2002 -2003. It looks at the larger, more controversial, uncompleted developments at that time – (not the smaller, under the radar ones, nor the already completed ones). This is an excellent recent historic resource.

The current mood of acceptance that Koala populations are in dire trouble shows to me, that those in Council, now admitting the issues, have previously been well informed of the Koalas’ plight, and previously did not take the due care and necessary actions to preserve Koala populations over the past decades. Only very recently they (NSW Government, Tweed Shire Council) approved developments amidst outcries that this  imminent localised Koala extinction was about to happen in the foreseeable future.

Old fashioned, the trend for Koala sanctuaries does little to help the habitats for wild Koala populations. It does not help the wild Koala populations interact and live stress free, secure lives.

It is one thing to save the last few marsupials of a particular species, creating a breeding program and investing in habitat restoration  where the marsupial came from and lived. This can help the marsupial regain a foothold back into a wild state.

The concept , as explained in the above news article is based on ignorance and something bordering a sociopathic  delusional sense of self righteousness. Imprisonment of wild animals is cruel, and not at all an answer. Habitats of Koalas can be fostered and sponsored by the Tweed Shire Council and any developer (that seeks to profit from developing and creating infrastructure along the Tweed Coast.) So far,  there has been this mass development, mass habitat FRAGMENTATION and mass habitat destruction.

I would think that it is against Native Wildlife Laws to fence in wild populations when they are endangered or at risk. Better to create an environment and educational agenda that allows the marsupials to thrive and move freely. Better to enhance habitat and desist from mass HABITAT DESTRUCTION. Better to fence the dogs, the people, the cars, the developers and the government contractors creating the infrastructures that have and intend, in the future,  to create more problems for the Koalas survival???? Better to actively engage in HABITAT RESTORATION and habitat education, on a scale never before seen on the NE NSW Coast.
The idea of a koala sanctuary will have no real impact on the surrounding Koalas who live nearby, yet are fenced out. Koalas who have travelled to the area, if they are fenced in, will be submitted to micro-chipping devices, which seems a little extreme, given that Koalas can probably be recognised individually by Koala spotters who are familiar with the animals.

I guess that to many Koala “scientists”, individual micro-chipping can give some measure of knowing who, where, what and when information, concerning individual koala movements. However, Australians, as a whole, have become obsessed with information, and information is useless, if it isn’t approached with wisdom.

The WISDOM, if I may be so bold to suggest, is that infrastructures and developments have created much of the KOALA ISSUES today, and more of the “same as it ever was” approach to growth and development will create the same old issues – at the expense to the KOALA.

Passive, gentle approach to HABITATS – leaving vegetation as is, or if it requires habitat enhancement, gentle weeding and planting/encouragement of local, endemic vegetation gives good results. If a developer should wish to build into and about Koala Habitat, then that developer should have covenents such as “NO DOGS”, strict laws about vegetation plantings, and a voluntary code of planting programs that are several years ahead of the development, so that vegetation to replace the removal of plant communities for building and infrastructure, is already in place, at a reasonably advanced state. People should be educated as to what constitutes KOALA friendly lifestyles, starting at pre-school level.

Bulldozers and Koalas, habitat clearing and Koalas, highly networked roadways and Koalas – these things do not work well together. Bikeways, small localised villages, small regional developments with gentle approaches to infrastructure building – these things, and more can help KOALA HABITAT. A Koala Corridor is not a static situation. Like Koalas, their habitat is a living breathing, ever changing “entity”. It is a healthy continuity of living breathing forests, woodlands, wetlands, hills, valleys, catchments and much much more. The concept of a Koala corridor has served its purpose in the past century to help some localised Koala populations and heighten awareness about Koalas and their plight. It is, however, very narrow in concept, as our very infrastructure, urbanisation and agrarian mindsets create “habitats” that are in direct conflict with “Koala Habitat and Corridors”.

It is now time for people to be more honest in their approach to the KOALA.  It is now time to consider the Koala in its REGIONAL contex and how the localised infrastructure/urban and rural development AND regional infrastructure/urban and rural development  in the Tweed Shire implicates on the SURVIVAL of this THREATENED SPECIES.

But, essentially, as is the problem that we face Australia, and WORLD WIDE – it is our frantic racing lifestyle based on “more and faster” that is at the base of the KOALA EXTINCTION. The dogs, the cars, the illnesses – all symptoms. What was it, about the previous land custodians’ lifestyles (indigenous Australians), that gave us pristine heritage 200 years ago?

Authentic Land and Water Custodianship. Honouring Country. Respecting nature. The question I pose here, is the same Question that was posed me over 15 years ago. “Why should the matter of Koala road kill, dog kill, disease and death be an issue.??” Look beyond, go beyond the symptoms to the real issues. It is there that you, we – us all, will see what is at the heart of the matter. The beautiful, wild Koala is telling us something about ourselves. Are we brave enough to really “hear” and “LEARN” that truth?

Growth, greed, profit taking, cargo and corporate cults – these cults have been destroying the habitats of the NE NSW and SE QLD Koalas for decades now. There IS a WAY, but imprisonment is not  it!  Shame on you, Tweed Shire Council and the NSW Government. Shame on you.

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2 Responses to “I will Jail you and Feed you”

  1. Menkit Says:

    Here, here, well said.
    I deplore Tweed council for imprisoning koalas and gasp – microchipping – them. Do they think they are like pet dogs now?
    Yikes, this mentality to wild animals is frightening. Why can’t we just let them be … oh, I forgot, we OWN the planet and everything just better get out of our way!

  2. bluecray Says:

    Dearest Menkit,
    People actually treat their dogs much better than Koalas. If there were only 140 or so dogs left on the Tweed Coast, what an uproar there would be!!

    Hang on, if there were only 140 or so dogs left on the Tweed Coast, there would be more Koalas!!..

    I see that the Tweed Council is assessing whether to have Dogs allowed at the Kings Forest NON ecologically sustainable development that is currently being bulldozed and engineered out of the some of the few remaining remnant wetland habitats of the Tweed Coast ( Northern NSW ).

    To “own” a dog as a life companion is a rewarding and wonderful experience. To see a healthy, free ranging koala in the wild is a rare and PRECIOUS thing.

    Now it seems, people want more wild dogs and caged Koalas….
    HISTORY will judge the developers, governments and ignorance of the people, concerning the wiping out of Koalas in the name of PROGRESS.
    Concerning the individuals, Tweed Councillers and state and federal government INDIVIDUALS who decide, in their wisdom and discretion, to let dogs run free and yet imprison Koalas? I leave that judgement up to God and, perhaps the future generations of children of this earth.
    cheers,
    Marthaa Damuse

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