Urban sprawl ‘chaos’

 Jemma Boisen

WIDGEE residents are furious about a proposed new housing development in the heart of their quiet country town which has already cleared 20ha of land they say was a koala habitat.

The residents met with The Gympie Times on Little Widgee Rd, adjacent to the Widgee school, yesterday morning. They say letters have been written to Gympie Regional Council objecting to what they believe is excessive tree clearing which has forced the koalas out.

With the koalas on the move, many have been trying to cross the road and some have been hit by cars.

“The people clearing the land have no idea the koalas are being pushed out of their homes and are dying because there are hardly any trees left.” Koala Action Group member Kath O’Donnell said.

Not only are the koalas being affected, other locals said Widgee’s infrastructure cannot handle the higher population the development will create.

“Some business might benefit from more people coming into the town but I believe it will put more stress on the community,” Land care vice-president Gloria Robertson said.

“It will affect our roads, the bridges and it’s already causing chaos with the koalas,” she said.

The residents say they were not informed about the proposed development and only discovered it after all the trees had been cleared.

“I and many others received wishy-washy responses from the council,” Mrs Robertson said.

“We were given a date from November 4 to November 25 to comment on the new development but multiple trees were cut down anyway. It should be up to the buyer of the land, if they want to chop down the trees or not.”

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