In our November edition of this paper, we carried a story on Jean Shaw and her decades long fight to save the population of koalas in Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens.

Yacaaba Headland 4 View of Hawks Nest June 2001

The database of Koala activity that Jean maintained was recognised as an extremely valuable asset. From the statistics kept, its known now that the Koala population in Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens has been steadily declining to the point where there are now a few, if any, remaining. 

Jean’s data was instrumental in the National Parks and Wildlife Service declaring the local population “Endangered”. 

But a comprehensive recovery plan has not been established and implemented. 

Jean has now retired and moved to Queensland to be near her daughter in Brisbane. 

She says it “breaks her heart” to know what is happening now in Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest with rampant development /plans. In her submission to the MCC objecting to development in Hawks Nest she says –

“My husband and I found this beautiful area while on holidays in the early 1980’s and decided this was where we would retire. I spent over 15 years doing volunteer work for native animal rescue in the Hawks Nest / Tea Gardens area, up into the Myall Lakes National Park. My primary interest was the rescue and safe return of the beautiful koalas and the effort to have them listed as endangered. 

During this time in 1994, we had a group from San Diego Zoo come out from America to see what a beautiful area we live in. The area adjoining the national park should never be destroyed by over-development. The pristine beauty of this area is the reason that many people enjoy it. 

What koalas remain ( and other wildlife and plants) are in the area that is proposed for development. This is a tragedy and short sighted.

So much work and dedication has been put into the area which I still love to keep it untouched and therefore a great attraction.

My heart is crying about what is now happening in Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens. Sadly this world is governed by money, money money, in all tiers of government -Federal, State and Local who are destroying forever the world of animals, flowers, and clean open country.”

So what are the General Manager, Governance Section and MidCoast Councillors doing about the Hawks Nest / Tea Gardens Koala matters – now some 20 years after Jean Shaw’s decades of work to save the last of the koalas in the area?


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