The annual meeting of the Koala Working Group (KWT) was held this month in Tea Gardens.
The KWG is a committee, chaired by Mat Bell Senior Ecologist with Great Lakes Council, charged with the responsibility of administering the Recovery Plan for the Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens endangered koala population.
The committee includes representatives from the Koala Group, the Office of Environment and Heritage Threatened Species Unit, the Great Lakes office of National Parks and Wildlife Service, the NSW Crownlands Department, and Great Lakes Council’s Strategic Planning and Natural Systems Departments.
The main discussions at this meeting centred around the unfortunate combination of three recent events affecting our koalas; namely the deaths of three koalas on Kingfisher Avenue from car hits, the recently introduced RFS 10/50 Rule resulting in dozens of trees in Hawks Nest being needlessly removed and the major storm in April that resulted in more loss of trees.
Actions from the meeting to address these issues include proposals to erect a speed sensitive sign in Kingfisher Avenue to ask speeding drivers to slow down, affixing large koala images on the roadway to highlight the koala corridor, two additional signs in the towns advising the community of the current koala status, commencing a street tree planting program on street verges where there are no power lines r water mains and enhancing the John Davis Memorial Avenue of Trees in Sanderling Avenue with more mature trees.
We ask everyone to PLEASE not exceed the speed limit along Kingfisher Avenue because it is very common for koalas to cross the road in this area.
Don’t forget to report your koala sightings on our Hotline answering machine (4997 0878). To get help for any sick or injured wildlife, call Native Animal Trust Fund on 0418 628 483 (0418 NATIVE).
(Report by Gail and Ian Morphett)