Pictured above: New guard rails being installed are creating issues with local wildlife. Photo Darrie Lisle
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
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.
Wallaby Refuge on Magnetic Island
Ed. Note: We have spoken to Cr. Greaney and photos.