November 10, 2017

Save Ballina's koalas from ecocide

Media Release

10 November 2017 


Meerschaum Vale koala [Photo: Heather Dunn]

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith today called on the NSW government to protect Ballina’s koala population and other wildlife as the RMS starts tree clearing work as part of the Pacific Highway upgrade at Meerschaum Vale.

“I have heard from residents in the area about the dead and injured koalas they have found almost daily. The residents have also been told that contractors are not allowed to touch any injured animals they see. There seems to be no process in place for the RMS or its contractors to count the koalas or other wildlife that are dead or injured due to the increased truck traffic or tree clearance.”

“I have visited Meerschaum Vale and met with residents multiple times in the past two years and I have seen the impact of the preparation for the highway upgrade on the wildlife and on the lives of the residents.  I have made many representations on the community’s behalf about the effects of this highway upgrade to the RMS and to the Minister for Roads.

“I cannot state how strongly this upgrade is affecting the lives of residents with problems with dust, vibration, noise and traffic.”

“I call on the NSW government to get a proper process of wildlife monitoring in place and employ animal rescue staff to save injured koalas and other endangered species,” said Ms Smith.

Greens MP and Koala Protection spokesperson, Dawn Walker has joined the call for better koala management in RMS construction areas.

“I share the concerns of the residents and Ballina MP, Tamara Smith, about the impacts of the road construction through such a formerly low traffic area. The large increase in truck traffic and dust from preparations for the Pacific Highway upgrade in the area has had negative effects on the local Ballina koala population,” said Ms Walker.

"I joined residents and local environmentalists on the site of the highway upgrade last week and the massive scenes of environmental devastation I saw can only be described as 'ecocide'," said Ms Walker.

Dawn Walker recently met with Kevin Anderson, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads, activist Sue Arnold and koala expert ecologist David Milledge to discuss koalas.

“This is a Government that has an appalling record when it comes to protecting our koalas. Koalas on the North Coast have almost halved over the last 20 years, it’s vital that we started recognising and protecting each koala population especially as they become more fragmented by roads and have less opportunity to recover as their numbers decline,” said Ms Walker.


Sign our petition to save Ballina's koalas!


Tree clearing at Meerschaum Vale, November 2017

Continue Reading

March 15, 2024

The Greens submission to the government's STRA consultation process

Short-term holiday lets are tearing apart the social fabric of the region. With one in four homes being short-term rentals in Byron Shire, it’s no wonder we have a housing crisis.

Read More

January 18, 2023

The regions being most impacted by short-term rentals (Rent News)

The oversupply of short-term rentals is often touted as one of the leading causes of the rental crunch, but new data reveals some areas suffer more than others.

Read More

January 18, 2023

Position on holiday letting (Byron Echo)

Given the broken promise by the NSW Liberal-Nationals government on allowing Council to regulate the short-term rental accommodation (STRA) sector in the Byron Shire, The Echo asked NSW Labor what they would do if elected in March.

Read More

Join other supporters in taking action

Sign up to receive newsletters and occasional emails about important issues in our community from Tamara Smith MP.

Join the campaign