• Magnetic Community News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR


Pictured above: New guard rails being installed are creating issues with local wildlife. Photo Darrie Lisle


Dear Ed,

On the 9 th of August 2022 at around 2:00 in the afternoon one of my co-wildlife

rescuers was driving from Horseshoe Bay when, soon after starting up the hill

where the Rub Rails Barrier has just been installed, she was flagged down by a

woman in a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction. The woman was

pointing out at a koala that was by the Rub Rails unable to proceed to the

bush. This koala was seen to have tried to climb the barrier with no success

and was now walking parallel to the barriers on the active roadway.

Nic stopped immediately as did the other woman, both putting on the

emergency flasher lights , and Nic attended the situation by assisting the koala

off the road, over the barrier and allowing him/her to proceed on their journey

into the hills. Nic informed me that, by the time this was completed there were

approximately 10 cars stopped on the road in each direction.


These barriers have been installed only about one week and we are already

seeing wildlife in distress.

As the owner of Wallaby refuge on Magnetic Island and an island wildlife

rescuer for 15 years I have been called out and walked this hill area many

times over the years. As we know , and tourism depends on, Magnetic Island is

an arena with a strong abundant wildlife environment. The area where this

rub rail is presently established, with further plans to establish more, is an area

abundant with wildlife, not only koalas but there is an established rock wallaby

colony along there as well as echidnas, possums, ground birds, etc.

Along with the wildlife it is important to address the dangers this is to vehicle

drivers as accidents will occur when drivers attempt to avoid wildlife in the

road or stop in an area where there is no place to pull over with attempts to

rescue.


On 20 October 2020 ABC reported 'Wildlife being annihilated' on

hinterland road after solid guardrails installed. It was identified that the

koalas suffered with their nails ripped out as they were trying to climb over

the barriers with no success.


On 30 June 2021 ABC reported in the article Rub rails to be removed from

Gold Coast hinterland road after wildlife carnage advising ‘After being

lobbied by wildlife carers, Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has announced

sections of rub rail or the lower section of guardrail will be removed.’


With a history of the dangers these rub rails cause to wildlife we would ask the

Townsville City Council and Main roads Transport to reconsider the installation

of rub rails on Magnetic Island.


Townsville City Council has been notified and in conversation with Nic and it is

hoped they will take this up immediately with the Transport Department to

remove the established rub rails and stop any further instillation.

We also ask for further community involvement as we see from the ABC reports

community action can help save our wildlife and our environment.


Darrie Lisle

Wallaby Refuge on Magnetic Island


Ed. Note: We have spoken to Cr. Greaney and photos.



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