Mayor not concerned by political damage

SHOALHAVEN Mayor Joanna Gash is not concerned about any potential political fallout over the removal of the Bum Tree on Gerroa Road.

“I didn’t become mayor to become popular or with political inclinations,” Cr Gash said.

“I became mayor to do my best for my community and if people choose to vote against me on that basis then so be it.

“I can understand their emotions.

“But I think the people concerned are very well organised and very systematic. I have received many nasty phone calls, especially on Thursday morning regarding the work and I actually had to turn my phone off.

“We make decisions that may not please everyone but we are here to make decisions in the best interest of everyone and that’s all we can do.

“To a degree I have been surprised how much reaction there has been but I can say that we have also had a number of people telephone us and send emails saying they are in favour of the work, giving the other side of the argument.

“There are always those who have their own opinions, but this is what we are elected to do, make decisions.”

Cr Gash confirmed that two of the possums removed at the location on Thursday were greater gliders.

“National Parks and Wildlife have confirmed that is what species they are,” she said.

“They were removed from one tree.”

It was originally thought the animals may have been the threatened yellow bellied glider, with the greater gliders still considered endangered.

“Council was aware that animals may have been found in the trees and contractors have taken all care in the removal of limbs to protect any native animals,” Cr Gash said.

“Council engaged four independent wildlife specialists to assist in the animal husbandry of the animals and their release.

“The animals will be relocated within the national park and the intention is to place them within their removed hollow section of tree.”

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