Archive for the ‘Phantom Koala’ Category

I will Jail you and Feed you

August 23, 2010

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.

When Phantom Koala was Young

June 13, 2009

When Phantom Koala was Young

- A Koala Saga of the Mt Warning Caldera Region, Australia, the World…….this poem is dedicated to ALL the Koalas out there, doing the “hard yards”  in our “ridiculously good looking” urban, rural and recreational  expansions-

When Phantom Koala was still a youth his Mother left, and said in truth “I’ll make it to the Coastal tree, the one I love to eat. Yummie!”
“I’ll stay a month, then come right back”
(little knowing “they’d” change her track).
So off she went to her favourite tree.Goodbyes to PK and his Sisters three, she’d cross through Mooball – the forests there had fragrant leaves in the cool crisp air.
Then smelling the breeze of the ocean true she’d make her way with her corridor view
to her favourite tree, and it’s leaves so rare and then she’d spend a few weeks there.
Well,
Getting there was kind of rough
but PK’s Mama was very tough.
Her was was blocked by a tall steel screen
making her travel much longer – how mean!
So when she arrived – how her body did ache
from that extra long journey those roadworks did make.
However, once climbing her favourite tree,PK’s Mama felt happy and free.
She’d catch up on news of her cousins and friends as they sampled the leaves of the fine coastal blends.
Then later, as winds shifted northern and strong,her thoughts shifted also – to where she belonged.
With her children, the ranges – of Mooball and beyond.
Her tall homeland trees of which she was fond.
She could venture home now, and “Next Year”, she thought “I’ll show PK this way, although it’s not short.He can sample the trees of the coastal wetland and meet all his cousins – it will be really grand!”
Then sadly she found she was hopelessly caught.The route to her homeland was suddenly fraught
with DANGER – more FENCES – MACHINERY too……
PK’s Mama thought “Oh now what to do?”
SHe wandered for ages – for weeks up and down.
Running from people and dogs from a town.
She lost herself twice as she struggled to find
a way back to her hills and away from this bind.
So long did she struggle to find her way home,twice fleeing from males – big Koalas – so strong.
Blocked off from her country to which she belonged. Long nights did she call for her dear PK boy……
Then one winter’s night she heard an
“AHOY”
It was PK – her son but he sounded afar
Across the deep void of the roadway and tar.
He’d travelled some distance, to find her but then
the big roadway stopped him at a small shady glen,
So climbing heroically tall tree tops there
He heard his Mama through the clear coastal air
as she called out his name. They both ran to their fence.
Lives divided by wire, trucks and our “commonsense”.
So now that this epic resolves, I’ll show you
that PK and his Mother are still in the View,
but severity lingers with human road-forms
and houses, developments – all of our “norms”,
That split our dear HERO from his MOTHER in space.
And tho’ time heals his woes, no one argues his case.
Pk’s winter retreats to talk with his Mom
revive all his feeling of how she’s not “home”.
He’d share all his stories to those with an ear,
those people who’d see that it’s wrong just to “clear”.
Building fences and roadways to imprison his friends
(to Pk it seems that this pace knows no ends)
Yet in quiet midnight hours of his winter retreat…
His talks with his Mother – of memories sweet….
YET – NEVER to touch her, nor sit with her close.
BIG ROADS AND BIG FENCES – they do more than you suppose!

When Phantom Koala was still a youth,

his Mother left and said in truth

“I’ll make it to the Coastal tree, the one I love to eat. Yummie!”

“I’ll stay a month, then come right back” (little knowing “they’d” change her track).

DSC05836

So off she went to her favourite tree.Goodbyes to PK and his Sisters three, she’d cross through Mooball – the forests there had fragrant leaves in the cool crisp air. Then smelling the breeze of the ocean true she’d make her way with her corridor view to her favourite tree, and it’s leaves so rare and then she’d spend a few weeks there.

Well,

Getting there was kind of rough

but PK’s Mama was very tough.

Her way was blocked by a tall steel screen

making her travel much longer – how mean!

DSC05769-1

So when she arrived – how her body did ache

from that extra long journey those roadworks did make.

However, once climbing her favourite tree,PK’s Mama felt happy and free. She’d catch up on news of her cousins and friends as they sampled the leaves of the fine coastal blends.

Then later, as winds shifted northern and strong,her thoughts shifted also – to where she belonged. With her children, the ranges – of Mooball and beyond.  Her tall homeland trees of which she was fond.

She could venture home now, and “Next Year”, she thought “I’ll show PK this way, although it’s not short.He can sample the trees of the coastal wetland and meet all his cousins – it will be really grand!”

But sadly she found she was hopelessly caught. The route to her homeland was suddenly fraught

with DANGER – more FENCES – MACHINERY too……

PK’s Mama thought “Oh now what to do?”

DSC05801

She wandered for ages – for weeks up and down.

Running from people and dogs from a town.

She lost herself twice as she struggled to find

a way back to her hills and away from this bind.

So long did she struggle to find her way home,twice fleeing from males – big Koalas – so strong. Blocked off from her country to which she belonged.

Long nights did she call for her dear PK boy……

Then one winter’s night she heard an

“AHOY”

It was PK – her son but he sounded afar

Across the deep void of the roadway and tar.

He’d travelled some distance, to find her but then

the big roadway stopped him at a small shady glen,

So climbing heroically tall tree tops there, he heard his Mama through the clear coastal air as she called out his name. They both ran to their fence.

Lives divided by wire, trucks and our “commonsense”.

DSC05750

So now that this epic resolves, I’ll show you that PK and his Mother are still in the View, but severity lingers with human road-forms and houses, developments – all of our “norms”,  that split our dear HERO from his MOTHER in space.  And tho’ time heals his woes, no one argues his case.

Pk’s winter retreats to talk with his Mom revive all his feeling of how she’s not “home”.

He’d share all his stories to those with an ear, those people who’d see that it’s wrong just to “clear”.

Building fences and roadways to imprison his friends  (to Pk it seems that this pace knows no ends)

Yet in quiet midnight hours of his winter retreat…

His talks with his Mother – of memories sweet….

YET – NEVER to touch her, nor sit with her close.

BIG ROADS AND BIG FENCES – they do more than you suppose!

PK_goes_to_beechmont_along_the_open_road

if you want to find out How Phantom Koala earned his “Hero” status, by travelling to find his mother who had become trapped in Kings forest on the Tweed Coast of NE NSW, Australia, read the second  Koala poem about him at bluecray.org –    “There is a Way

Holiday time for PK & Litoria, near Egg Rock

March 4, 2009

PK , the Phantom Kola & Litoria the tiny Rocket Frog, go for a holiday near Egg Rock  in the Numinbah Valley, Gold Coast Hinterland, SE QLD Australia.

They meet with some challenges along the way:

Lots of hot sunny hills, even hotter roads, sprayed fence and creek lines, mowed grass habitats with barking dogs, a fierce hail storm,  brushcutters, more dogs and concreted, bare waterholes!

Eventually , just when they think they are safe, PK discovers…….the HIGHWAY! and Litoria, lost in a road drain tries to find a hiding spot from a snake. 

Eventually, they meet up at the roundabout. Food and shelter is getting sparse. If only Chin Ting, the little dragonfly would arrive, and give them directions! 

 

PK & Litoria the Frog meet at the roundabout. They have been facing strenuous peril on their holiday north across the coastal border of NSW & QLD. Hopefully Chin Ting (the dragonfly) will arrive, and save the day!

PK & Litoria the Frog meet at the roundabout. They have been facing strenuous peril on their holiday north across the coastal border of NSW & QLD. Hopefully Chin Ting (the dragonfly) will arrive, and save the day!

PK (Phantom Koala) ponders past Pottsville for Food

March 2, 2009

Phantom Koala journeys up the Tweed Coast, in the Northern Rivers of NSW (NE NSW, Australia). Miraculously, he has crossed the Pacific Highway near Mooball, and he is on his way to meet with his family and friends near Kings Forest.

collages6

Phantom Koala, facing off with the Moneybags, as he negotiates his way north, from beyond Pottsville towards Kings Forest.  

Meanwhile, Chin Ting  (the Dragonfly) is confident that the Estuarine areas of the Tweed Coastline will not be forgotten. She points out to PK that rising sea levels will change this coastline in the future, and hopefully there will be enough wetland remnants to re-populate the rising watertables and wetlands areas of the beautiful catchments along the lowlands.

PK asks Chin Ting  about the Catchments here, on the Tweed Coast, and what are the best estuarine vegetation lines to follow. He is concerned because everything keeps changing so suddenly. His head is beginning to spin.

Chin Ting says ” I guess no one has told you what is going on! You must learn to pay attention! Those trees are going soon, these ones are staying, these ones will die back from changed water table levels, and the trees further on were cleared yesterday AND, this water table is changing, this water hole is going, that area is designated road, and soon there will be thousands of people there, as well!!!” .  No one knows what the quality of the underground water table is like and your cousins, 21 times removed, down in Victoria,  are still making the headlines in  fire news, all over the world”.

The little dragonfly is gasping, glowing with anticipation ……

chintingspin

PK’s head spins even more.

road_to_pottsville

Chin Ting Continues, a wave of enthusiasm causing her to glow brightly in the sunlight…”Yes PK, times are changing, but no one’s keeping up, and everyone is pretending that they are.  Everybody is concerned about the world, but saying development must go one…. like.. “always something cooking, but nothings in the pot”…. oh dear, that makes me think of the Catchment Management, Regional Planning and Developmental Planning Workshops……..and the meetings with moneybags.”

“Lets get going, it’s a long journey ahead, and since we have no newspapers, Geospatial Information or maps and departmental planning reports to read – let alone understand or believe, we don’t know what is going on up ahead, and the weather looks like it is going to change, again!”

Australia’s Bushfire Legacy : An Ash Oracle

February 15, 2009

The Victorian Bushfires and Australia’s Bushfire Legacy highlight Australia’s environmental future regarding Urban and Rural Planning within an Australian Fire Prone Landscape.  Stephen J. Pyne,  (professor at Arizona State University and author of two FIRE books – “Burning Bush: A Fire History of Australia” 1991 and “The Still-Burning Bush”  2006), wrote a ‘must read’ article in The Australian’s Opinion column on January 10th 2009.  

Professor Pyne’s article  ” Bushfire leader becomes laggard”   highlights the need for Australians to look beyond the ARSON and GLOBAL WARMING perspective to what is right under our Aussie sunscreened noses and our romantic virgin green environmental mindsets:

1. The Australian Bush is a complex, diverse and dynamic feature  - critically important to our sustainable future. Fire is an integral part of this dynamic environmental heritage across the vast and diverse regional forest, woodland and grassland habitats of Australia.

2. Global Warming and Arson consequences underline our urgent need to properly understand and manage fire in our urban and rural landscapes. However, fire storms in many parts of Australia can, and will still occur regardless of Global Warming and Arson.

3. Urban and Rural Planning play a critical role in Fire Storm defense as Germaine Greer so aptly and forcefully suggests in her recent article in The Times online .

Urban & Rural and Regional Planning roles should include above and beyond what is already current (**see links below):

  • Clear, practical, easy to access and understand guidelines for regional and local  fire management strategies
  • Pro-active support of trained Rural Fire Authorities by all levels of government via technology and substantially increased capital inputs and educational outreach centres 
  • Building and infrastructure design guidelines, including shelters and building & infrastructure industry codes 
  • Development design guidelines geared to Biodiversity & Fire Regimes
  • Biodiversity maintenance based on sound local knowledge and not hypothetical “money talks”  nature disassociated  engineering principles
  • Community education
  • Consultation with local indigenous peoples who carry with them oral instruction on local fire management, 
  • AND, above all, taking the emotional response out of fire management and placing it back into the hands of those that understand the nature of fire, instead of misguided political movers and shakers

4. Each and every child in Australia should have, at the core of their education syllabus:-

  • Environmental Education on equitable terms with Economic Education (something that was not created by the 2020 Summit) : including Fire Education and Land Stewardship  
  • Fire understanding, from pre-school level, that goes beyond how to put out a small fire or survival when the smoke alarm rings in the school ground  
  • National syllabus should include starting, controlling  and putting out fires, understanding the nature of the different types of fires that our future will present to them and how to LIVE with FIRE 
  • Understanding the role of fire in Australian Vegetation Landscapes and Habitats, the dynamics & cycles of Vegetation Communities and the history of Fire Management in Australia
  • Recognising fire prone landscapes, situations and seasons
  • Knowledge of fire defense (back burning, burning off, fuel management in landscapes), community fire warnings and emergency procedures    

pk_ponders_a_big_fire_in_mt_warning_caldera_region

Phantom Koala ponders a big fire in the Mt Warning Caldera Region! Chin Ting says: “Don’t worry PK, if the fires come – You can run into the surrounding bushland….. that is….. if the PLANNING LAWS promote sensible prescribed burning and keep enough safe places for you to run to”

**Links: 

Searching for Fire Management Guidelines in the NSW Government Department of Planning – Planning Guidelines for Hazardous Development appears to still be in the pipeline?  (Hazardous Industry Planning Advisory Paper No2. : Fire Safety Study Guidelines Consultation Draft July 2008 )  

Bushfire Guidelines : NSW Government Department of Planning

NSW Rural Fire Service 

Searching for Fire Management Guidelines in the Qld Department of Infrastructure & Planning  - here is the Current Qld Government’s Planning & Development Laws list

Qld Government : Department of Infrastructure and Planning :- Planning and Growth

Qld Government State Planning Policies : including Guideline for SPP1/03 Mitigating the Adverse Impacts of  Flood, Bushfire and Landslide 1.0

Qld Rural Fire Service

http://fhsarchives.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/historian-stephen-j-pyne-on-the-australian-fires/

Nature Conservation Council of NSW : 25th July 2008 Re: National Koala Conservation Strategy Review – Nature Conservation Council Submission  

COAG 2003 Bushfire Enquiry  ” The Inquiry’s Terms of Reference … issues related to bushfire mitigation and management that are of national significance;  opportunities for enhanced cooperation and the adoption of national best practice. The Inquiry took account of the work and findings of other bushfire inquiries.” findings released 24th Jan 2005.  Find the report here at Report of the National Inquiry into Bushfire Mitigation and Management  at the COAG website

“a review of current knowledge and literatue assist in determining ecologically sustainable fire regimes for the southeast queensland region” 2000 at Cuong Tran Southeast Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium page on the COAG website

Bluecray.org FIRE links

Koalas, wildlife need your help

February 10, 2009

The CFA of Victoria, as do all the Rural Fire fighters of Australia work long hard hours each year to  keep Australia safe. May the photo below remind you to learn about fire, wildlife conservation and fire safety, particularly with regard to new developments,  so that rural fire fighters’ jobs, and the jobs of wildlife carers are made easier.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

posted by Neil Creek on TwitPic

(Source found – Herald Sun,

front page. Photo: Russel Vickery)

Wildlife Victoria – Bushfire Appeal

Help for Wildlife Bushfire Appea

bluecray.org fire links : Mt Warning Caldera Region, NE NSW & SE QLD, Australia

Koalas Mt Warning Caldera Region NE NSW SE QLD

February 6, 2009

To Search for Koalas NE NSW , SE QLD ( Mt Warning Caldera Region) try the Bluecray Regional Environmental News custom search by clicking the picture below

 

koalas NE NSW , SE QLD at bluecray Regional Environmental News - Mt Warning custom search

koalas NE NSW , SE QLD at bluecray Regional Environmental News - Mt Warning custom search

 And, while you are there, search for “koalas 2009″ to get the latest or anything else that interests you. Have fun, learn more and help create a beautiful vision for our Australian Koalas to share with us all, into the future!!!!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.