Reported in the Cooma Express this week, Numerella residents are concerned about the clearing koala feed trees for a proposed National Broadband Network tower. Regional koala coordinator James Fitzgerald said the NBN should put the tower elsewhere because ‘ The removal of koala feed trees is likely to cause nutritional stress. It’ll be death by a thousand paper cuts.’
Mr Fitzgerald also spoke on ABC radio saying a koala with chlamydia had recently been found and put into care. While the loss of koala habitat should be avoided, confirmation that the bark eating koalas have chlamydia is a greater concern.
Recent research undertaken by the University of Sydney, the same team responsible for developing a chlamydia vaccine, found ‘ the origin of at least some chlamydial strains infecting koalas came from sheep and cattle.’ So even if these koalas were originally translocated from a Victorian population without the infection, it is possible that the disease came from local sources.
It is now three years since the erroneously named Bermagui Field and Game shotgun club proposed doubling the number of days they shoot from the current 12 to 24 shoots a year. At a meeting on Wednesday, Bega Shire Councillors decided to reject the application. When this totally inappropriate development was approved by council some 15 years ago, the proponents argued that in no time at all they would produce an Olympic champion.
Of course this never happened and as time has moved on, the number of residents and objections to the operation of club have increased. On this occasion major objectors were the Mimosa Rocks Winery and the Four Winds concert people. Council had intended to approve the application, although after the Mayor and other councilors visited during the last shooting day things changed. The Bega District News reported the Mayor saying “I went out with one purpose and came back with another”.
Cr Bill Taylor also went along for the day and said “I have no issue with shooting as a pastime, but it is in the wrong place and affecting too many people. Perhaps it’s time for the club to bite the bullet and consider relocating.” Couldn’t agree more.
Rather than degrading catchments, Council should be supporting positive endeavors, like the winery and four winds. I’ll also add the Cobargo Creators Centre, that is currently running a campaign to develop an exhibition area for local artists etc. Donations to the cause will be gratefully received.