Petition launched over huge wildlife fence plan

Published 12:00pm 7 July 2022

Petition launched over huge wildlife fence plan
Words by Nick Crockford

A koala exclusion fence, hundreds of metres long, is being planned beside a major road and playing fields in Clontarf to help protect the area's wildlife.

The fence would run from Oasis Ct, along Elizabeth Ave, around the base of the proposed $19 million pedestrian overpass and down the length of Silcock St.

There would also be LED warning signs on Elizabeth Ave, wildlife escape poles, a pavement sign and hundreds of trees planted to improve koala habitat.

A spokesperson for Transport and Main Roads (TMR) said the map (above) is a "draft plan and subject to change" with "further investigations required".

Petition launched over huge wildlife fence plan
An artist's impression of the proposed new $19 million pedestrian footbridge.

Better option

However, residents and protestors have launched an online petition - with more than 500 signatures in the first three days - challenging the proposal.

“The Stop Clontarf Overpass Action Group and local constituents have not been consulted about this absolutely ridiculous solution,” SCOAG spokesman Les Barkla said.

“Surely a better option would be to fence the western boundary of Frawley Fields and the back of the industrial estate?

“This whole project has had limited consultation from all three levels of government.

Petition launched over huge wildlife fence plan
Elizabeth Ave, Clontarf where a pedestrian bridge and wildlife fencing is being proposed.

Community concerns

“It’s as though the views of community members are irrelevant around the $19 million of taxpayer funds for this white elephant that community clearly objects to.”

The Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and Moreton Bay Regional Council are working with three koala protection groups on the fencing.

"The project will improve protection for koalas around Hays Inlet through the installation of exclusion fencing, restricting access to the road network, and planting of more than 250 habitat trees at Ray Frawley Fields and Sunstate Park, Kippa-Ring," the TMR spokesperson said.

"These measures are not compulsory, but we recognise the importance of protecting fauna."

Petition launched over huge wildlife fence plan

The fencing proposal comes just three months after residents started battling plans for an overpass linking Clontarf Beach State High School with the sports fields, described as the school’s western campus.

At the time, SCOAG said it was “furious about the inconsistencies and lack of transparency” surrounding the project, first spotted in an online announcement in February.

Mr Barkla said the group was “really frustrated” and needed answers about potential loss of koala habitat (12 sighting/rescues and two deaths since September 2019).

Four meetings were held between government departments and local residents. At the time, work on the bridge was to start in the middle of this year.

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