Ross Gardner, formerly of Wooli, saw this koala (circled) clinging to the gum tree at The Pacific View Estate, Gold Coast.
Ross Gardner, formerly of Wooli, saw this koala (circled) clinging to the gum tree at The Pacific View Estate, Gold Coast. Contributed

Koala's homes being bulldozed

AS ROSS Gardner drove down Hinkler Dr on the Gold Coast on Monday, he was so devastated by something that caught his eye; he stopped his car and whipped out his camera phone.

Trees near the Wooli expat’s Gold Coast home were being bulldozed as part of a massive land-clearing project for a development.

What Ross never expected to see, however, was a koala clinging to the branch of a bulldozed gum tree.

“I couldn’t believe it. Once the tree was down, someone with a chainsaw took to the tree while the koala was still holding onto the branch,” he said.

“It’s just wrong.”

Ross rang the Environment Protection Authority in Queensland, which was when the driver of the D9 bulldozer and a man using a chainsaw at the site became aggressive and said it wasn’t his job to alert authorities.

“I said to them, ‘I’m an Australian. It is my duty to make sure this little guy gets away unhurt’.

“I heard back from the EPA yesterday. They said that by the time they got to the site, the koala had been removed by the workers.

“They chopped the tree branch down and got rid of him soon after I was off the scene.”

Growing up in Wooli, Ross was fortunate to be surrounded by nature. His kids, living on the Gold Coast, are not so lucky and used to make frequent trips to the flora-and-fauna-rich area before it was bulldozed.

“There were kangaroos there all the time. The kids loved it. We would feed the kangaroos and the cows that were there,” Ross said.

The Queensland Government has recognised that urgent action is needed to protect koalas in South East Queensland, which are under threat from development, cars, dogs and disease.

Its Koala Response Strategy has been in place since December 2008 to halt the decline in koala numbers in the region.



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