Posts Tagged ‘koala advocacy’

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.

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Kings Forest Project Development – sleepless days & nights to come for endangered species

March 15, 2009

KINGS FOREST (near Kingscliff):

Infrastructure and community planning for the coast of NE NSW – now in the hands of those behind the closed doors of the Department of Planning’s King’s Forest submission’s review reveals a substantial threat to wildlife and the sustainability for future populations in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Australia.

A letter ,in the Tweed Shire Echo this week (12th March, 2009), outlines very clearly the lack of caring by Developer Industry Planning for Land and future generations of residents on the North East Coast of NSW.

Threatened species that have been left to survive in the remaining State Significant Site are further being imprisoned, on all sides, by development that is of massive proportions.

Whilst the gate is now shut on the development submissions for this Kings Forest Project by ” Leda “, I suggest, also, that the gate has shut for Leda.

The   Caldera Environment Centre in NE NSW, Australia shows insights,  in their submission to the NSW Government and objection to the planned Kings Forest and Cobakai Lakes Development , summing up  the King’s Forest Project situation very clearly. You should have a read of this Submission HERE.

(It is a shame that the write of that submission is not the one person who get’s to make the all important decision regarding this NSW State Significant site – because then, these threatened species could at least have some solitude, peace and rest in their threatened habitats.)

Here are a few more news Articles concerning  Leda and community response to their “proposed” development of the State Significant site in the Northern Rivers.

“The Trick in the Tweed : take a good look at the Lie of the land” – Sydney Morning Herald Feb 8th 2003 – some interesting history about the Kings Forest site 1970’s-2003

“Development yields nothing but a crop of litigation” – Sydney Morning Herald Nov. 8th 2004

9th Nov 2007 ” Leda ordered to remediate illegally cleared land” Nov 9th 2007 Gold Coast City Council

“Leda’s 7 Billion Dollar sale of two cities” – goldcoast.com.au Dec. 20th 2008

“Friends call for action on Tweed Koala Population” – The Far North Coaster online Magazine Feb. 15th 2009

“Developments Uncertain” – tweednews.com.au Feb. 17th 2009

“Planned township threat to Koalas” – Tweed Daily News Mar. 10th 2009

“Letters to the Editor –  Rape of Species” – Tweed Shire Echo Mar. 12th 2009

If you have had enough reading, then you maybe could stop here……otherwise, read on, as I have more to say regarding the MYTH of LEDA.

Phantom Koala (PK) worries about his cousins in Kings Forest, and how they will make it through the night, when the other wildlife goes and the cars and people come

Phantom Koala (PK) worries about his cousins in Kings Forest, and how they will make it through the night, when the other wildlife goes and the cars and people come

I would like to comment on the above Tweed Shire Echo letter,  regarding mythology and stories:-

The Swan can have many different metaphysical connotations.

LEDA:

In modern economic times, the idea of the black swan has a particular relation to “The Black Swan” (author –  Nassim Nicholas Taleb) . There is an interview here about the current economic global climate……. theory of the black swan..is.. a bit like expect the unexpected.

Regarding the LEDA Mythology:-

1. Leda has another dimension– the four children. Four offspring by her not so pleasant creative experiences.

2. Leda had her four offspring from two eggs, after being raped by Zeus ( who had disguised himself as a SWAN) :-

But, as is the way with myths – and business deals – it is more complex than that!

3.  Castor and Clytemnestra’s father was Tyndareus.   Pollux and Helen’s (Helen of Troy) father was Zeus.

4.  Of the four offspring of LEDA, One child is ALWAYS immortal – Polydeuces or Pollux.

THE CHILDREN (creative offspring):

Clytemnestra – alternating between weak and pathetic then ruthless and manipulative.

Helen (of Troy), one of the children, reminds us of pride and lack of foresight when one wants to just go ahead and DO IT!!! – a side that, should “hubris” take charge, then pity the outcome –

The Heavenly Twins : Castor and Pollux – we know them as the constellation Gemini . Horses, art, literature and pugnaciousness are associated with the Twins.  The Planet Mercury is identified with these Twins. Ptolemy regarded the stars in the feet of these two cosmic children as portraying sickness, trouble, disgrace and affliction to the knees.

Should the children’s (offspring or creative outcome of Leda) little feet run about to places where conflict is great, they can become become argumentative and unearth disgrace – then these “children” can become somewhat argumentative. One of these children, being immortal, WILL ARGUE FOREVER! – The tenacious Polydeuces (Pollux)

5. Cygnus – the Swan Constellation and basis for much Mythology:-

  • Denebe adige (alpha cygnus) is a brilliant white star in the tail of the swan.
  • Denebe adige With Sun and Mars above the earth, and the Moon at the same time with Procyon (25 Cancer), death by the bite of a mad dog. [Robson*, p.159.] from : Constellations of Words ** see below
  • Other stars in Cygnus are: – Sador (the breast); Azelfafage (the foot); Albireo (the beak)to name a few.
  • Cygnus is associated with the Hebrew letter “resh” and the tarot card “judgement
  • Apollo is the “god” who holds the SWAN sacred. Apollo is also about the Sun, much Power and worldly Prestige. Apollo is the Son of Zeus and LETO.
  • As Zeus had a habit of having twins, Apollo also had a TWIN – ARTEMIS – or DIANA – the Protector of Wild Animals, Children and Fertility.

6. The children of the FALSE Swan and LEDA therefore have a number of different “human” stories to tell us. They tell us about our

  • manipulative (but on the surface-compliant) natures (Clytemnestra)
  • tendency to be struck down from the “heights” when we become to “full”of our own importance and power (Helen)
  • ability to enjoy the finer things in life to the full and recreate enthusiastically (Castor)
  • ability to dig in deep and stand our ground – to the end and beyond (Pollux)

When the Tweed Shire Council’s Tweed Link  – ISSUE 594 DECEMBER 16, 2008 ISSN 1327-8630 – came out, and it displayed the Advertising of the Leda  Major Developments at Kings Forest and Cobaki Lakes with their related NSW Department of Planning NOTICE, the Astrology of the day was quite interesting!.

Asad and Deneb Adige

Asad and Deneb Adige

**The Sun and Mars were conjunct and the MOON was conjunct the fixed star Procyon (25Cancer) on the previous day (Dec. 15th 2008). Now, I guess that Leda do not employ an astrologer for their business timing. They may have been in too bigger rush, trying  to have the Proposal go before the public over the Christmas period,  to notice how inauspicious their “heavenly timing” was.

Or failing that, they may have employed a rather dodgy astrologer?Because that timing of release is very indicative of a failure in the project, failure to meet with public approval, and also indicates –  eventual public downfall, disgrace and possibly even the odd “bite” by those who previously have shown loyalty to them.

“A preliminary investigation of the distribution of koalas and their potential habitat in the Tweed Shire, and implications for management”  by Judy Faulks . Find article at – Australian Zoologist, June 1991 Vol. 27(1 & 2)

A Balance of Faeries – revisited

March 9, 2009

** before you read this article, have a quick look here – Story : Koalas in SE Queensland, Australia. Dec 2008**,  HERE  , and last of all HERE : Draft South East Queensland Koala State Planning Regulatory Provisions  .   

Faerie tales are stories of imagination, folklore and historical heresay. Many faerie stories can have deeper meanings behind their outer words. Now perhaps you do not believe in faeries . You may think that faeries are merely symbolic adornments in childhood books, movies and from cultures of a bygone age.

Now that you are grown up, you may be quite sure that faeries, santa clause and the easter bunny are not real. Or, you may have your own ideas about faeries, that no one else seems to have at all.

Well, all that aside, if you have some time to spare, have a read of my story below. It is a true story, and it has no faeries in it at all. Well… there is just one reference to faeries – right near the end.

My story takes place on the Marburg Range, some 35 kms west of Brisbane on the east coast of Australia. The year is 1989…..

Part One: The Afternoon

The afternoon was peaceful, broken only by the sounds of cicadas , and scrub birds , as they settled into their nesting trees for the evening ahead. A bulldozer came slowly up the dusty road. Grinding noisily, its metal tracks, and steel chains broke the quiet of the afternoon. The bulldozer stopped outside my little farmhouse, high up on the ridge.

Then the unthinkable happened.

The first large tree to go creaked mournfully, its roots loosening eerily from the soil, in passive opposition to the bulldozer’s strength.

The second large tree gave even less opposition, and the native bushes, herbs and grasses beneath were pushed into a tangled pile, flattening the unseen creatures that inhabited the narrow road verge. Birds’ nests fell. The koalas‘ food and roadside refuge was gone. Lizards, marsupials and baby birds of the understorey had little hope of survival.
The living wonder of the road verge was to be destroyed in 30 minutes, by over a million years honed into the diesal powered steel of the bulldozer.

My heart ached for the bush creatures and their homes.
Their lives, so cruelly flattened and trashed.

At first, my screaming thoughts wanted me to yell at the bulldozer driver “STOP!!! STOP!!- you are killing so many defenseless beautiful creatures and plants!!”
Instead, I stood transfixed in disbelief, watching the dozer fell the third tree then the fourth, fifth, sixth – on and on, up the road verge, heading to the top of the ridge.
Those brief moments of hearing that bulldozer do its work, they would change my life forever.

Spirit reeling, I tried to conceive how such a thing could be happening! No one else was watching – just me and the bulldozer driver. So much destruction of so much life taking place.

No one cared. No one cared at all. And if they did, well, what could they do?

This was not a large forest, protected by vigilant activists, prepared to chain themselves to trees. My heart began to ache, beyond this mindless act, to all the other places on earth that were silently witnessing the same destruction.
As a powerless observer, my anger and helplessness grew, and I did not know where to channel it.

The bulldozer driver did not realise. It was his job, and he had a family to feed. I could not be angry at him. But still my anger grew, threatening to consume me.

I needed a quick respite, a quick solution, to temper this anger – turning it into love.

Then a thought came suddenly to me. I could store this anger, transforming it with love, to hold deep in the base of my body, deep below my stomach. I could store this energy and use it, lovingly, thoughtfully, creatively, in future days, months, years and decades, as a power source. A power source dedicated to generating compassion and love, for nature’s bounties, gifted to humanity. What a big ask of myself! But then again, I could not deny this event.
I would remember this day for eternity. The day the grey boxes fell before the bulldozer.

As the bulldozer driver stopped to reconnect some chains, I went over to him, and asked of him ” Why do you clear this stretch of land? Do you realise that this soil is highly dispersive – it washes away so easily with rain that the land here is riddled with deep sub terranean holes? The aspect is so harsh, that without adjoining vegetation ( I pointed to the adjacent overgrazed paddock ) this road verge will not recover for many decades”.

He replied ” The owner of the property up the road wishes to put in electricity. Power lines are coming through. He is connecting power to that little quarter acre block, at the top of the ridge, so that he may sell it more easily”. And that was that. Legally ok!! Socially sanctioned.

After years of living on this range, I had grown to deeply respect the earth, and the natural balances that permeated through it. The harshness of the climate, at times, sent alternating flash flooding, and merciless drought. Fire could spring up quickly, within the badly managed vegetation and the lower valleys had became choked with salted soils and slow running creek water that resemble the sea in it’s saltiness.

The Eucalypts, with their long roots sunk deep into the earth, drew the water that lay in the rocky aquifers beneath. This was third generation regenerated bushland (from the clearing of the past 150 years) giving homes to many native animals. Beneath the box and red gums, grew all manner of remnant dry vine scrub plants, interspersed with the wildy spreading, naturalised weeds, that had arrived with agrarian settlement.
Silvereyes and double-barred finches nested in the hoop pines, blue wrens frequented the scrubby understoreys, koalas clamboured lazily tree to tree, goannas and snakes made frequent appearances, and after the rains, the frogs sounded in the dams and gullies along the side of the ridge.

Part Two: The evening

That evening, I suffered a disquiet that I had never known before. Falling asleep, my tears for the defenceless roadside homes turned into a dream. This dream eventually woke me. Such forces in a dream I had never experienced before.

I dreamt that I was in my little farm house, with my family. Suddenly a great wind tore through the house, ripping doors from hinges, hurling furniture to the walls. Our lives were in peril. The house was being destroyed by something so great, and invisible, that in the dream, my husband called to me, “Get the children, we must escape – we shall be killed!!”.

Now, in our dreams, we can be a hero, that in waking life, seems absurd.

Holding my husband back with one arm, I cried “NO! I can see what is happening – it is all coming from the bookcase” . I ran to our bookcase, which spanned the length of the living room wall, high to the ceiling, crammed with books, all tightly packed together, against the entire wall.

The wind was now of tornadic proportions, as I fought desperately to get near the bookshelf. I searched frantically for the source of the wind. There it was! Funneling through a small gap, on the bottom shelf. This was the only gap in the bookshelf that lined the wall and the wind was howling out of it, tearing past me and ripping my home apart.

“I know what to do” I cried, and kneeling down, desperately searched the floor for the missing book, that had fallen from the bookshelf, to stop this gap , and block the fierce wind.

The gap was so small, and the wind coming through it seemed to have no end. My hands felt about, on the floor. THERE it was, the book!!

I held it in my right hand, and pushed it back into the hole in the bookshelf. The strain was enormous, the wind so strong. I summoned all my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength to push that book back in, and suddenly there it was, back in place.

The wind stopped. But I was utterly spent – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The effort woke me from the nightmare, worn and exhausted. As I awoke, I knew that the name of this book must be remembered, this little book that held so much force at bay. In my waking, lucid moments, I frantically tried to decipher the tiny print on the cover. Oh, it was so hard to read, and I was waking fast. But YES, there it was! I could see it written on the cover – “A Balance of Faeries”.

I woke up, exhausted.

Part Three: The morning

There is not much more to say now. The dream has been recorded.

This dream has had a profound influence on how I view the world and share my view with others.

My place, within the natural processes that the world has gifted me, seems very small, insignificant. But, like that tiny book, in that great big bookshelf of my dream, small, seemingly insignificant parts of a much greater collective can have far reaching consequences.

The tiny, “non- significant” parcels within our delicately balanced environment can have an critical part to play in survival of all living things on earth.

The collective knowledge of mankind (the bookshelf) holds such power behind it, that should the knowledge not be complete, the power that is held can escape, creating havoc and untold destruction.

Part four: The return

I have since returned to visit the Marburg Range, some months back, before the 2008 summer rains drenched it once again, and after many years of drought, harsh winds and relentless sun. The road verge leading to the top of the ridge is bare, no trees have grown back yet, and no koalas, birds or marsupials could be seen on the narrow strip that was cleared so suddenly, 20 years ago.

With biodiversity comes the ability for our ecological systems to withstand the greater forces of nature – wind, sun, rain, fire, cold, heat. With knowledge and understanding of the smaller, delicate portions of nature, comes an ability to hold back the greater forces that great knowledge exposes us to.

It is time to wake up.

Links:

Queensland State of the Environment 2007 download at the Qld Government Environmental Protection Agency website

New South Wales State of the Environment Report 2006 download at the NSW Department of Environment & Climate Change website

  • Download the Soil Conservation Act 1986 – This Queensland Act for Soil Conservation has been in place since 1986 – yet the SE Queensland Region is still undergoing landclearing, ecological degradation and water pollution at unsustainable levels for the future population’s well being.

Roadsides, Powerlines & Stock Routes:

a few more interesting links:

  • North East Rainforest Alliance NEFA – homepage –

Some historical reading about Forests in NE NSW:

  • old NEFA site ? try the NEFA homepage

and finally, some more Blue Crayfish Links from bluecray.org :-

Bluecrays, Crayfish, Blue Crayfish Links

18-06-2008

PK, Litoria & Chin Ting have a look at the big picture, along with the Python, Spangled Drongos & other Wildlife that live by the roads in the Mt Warning Caldera Region, Australia.

Logan and Albert Conservation Association : KOALAS  

Follow candobetter.org for information about KOALAS – they have compiled  great info, links, articles, and brief recent history concerning KOALAS and the QUEENSLAND Government and DEVELOPMENT trends