Bangalley Head - Careel House Koala Loves Music: 1937 - NB: the koala DID NOT WANT TO GO - also worth noting - THERE WAS A FOOD TREE FOR IT AT THIS PLACE

The owners of Careel House, Bangalley Head, the Grieves had a Caesar and as the location of the home was one the local koalas moved to during their annual shifts from food trees in Angophora Reserve to that atop Careel Head- Bangalley Head, they also had koalas:

DOG wire haired Terrier white black markings (Caesar) Lost from Careel House Whale Beach. Reward Phone Palm Bench 77 or MA5076 GRIEVE 170 Elizabeth Street, City. Advertising. (1937, October 13). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 23. Retrieved from

Koala Visits Guest House

A koala bear last night paid a visit to Careel House, Whale Beach, near Avalon. In answer to persistent knocking shortly after 7 o'clock, the front door was opened, and guests were surprised to find the koala outside. Without inducement the animal entered the lounge, and immediately made itself at ease on one of the chairs. The picture above shows the bear quite at home on top of the piano, which is being played by a guest. 

Mrs. C. B. Grieve, the proprietress, obtained a bunch of gum leaves, which the bear ate, unperturbed by the pattings and pettings of its admirers. Twice the "intruder" was placed on the terrace so that it might return to the gum trees which surround the house, but twice it demanded re-admittance. After a "visit" of nearly three hours, the bear consented to leave. KOALA LIKES MUSIC (1937, October 25). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from

More in Careel House

NSW koala protections back on the political agenda for 2021

By EDO Senior Solicitor Cerin Loane

Following the stand-off between the NSW Nationals and NSW Liberal Party over koala protections at the end of 2020, the Government has announced its plans for rewriting koala protections, and once again, evidence-based policy making has taken a backseat to political deals.  But this time the Government is seeking to push things through with potentially reduced scrutiny by the NSW Parliament. 

The NSW planning policy for koala protection was the subject of heated debate at the end of 2020. The much-awaited State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2019 (Koala SEPP 2019) – which replaced the former State Environmental Planning Policy 44 – Koala Habitat Protection (SEPP 44) – was abandoned by Government after less than 12 months in operation.  

This came after the Government attempted to make changes to both Koala SEPP 2019 and the Local Land Services Act 2013 (LLS Act) via the Land Services Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2020 (LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill). The proposed changes would have changed the way koala protections applied to rural land, and were viewed as a backwards step, and contrary to advice that koala protections needed to be strengthened to prevent koalas becoming extinct in NSW by 2050. However, the Government’s proposed changes were defeated after a brave and principled crossing of the floor by Liberal MP Catherine Cusack – a member of the recent parliamentary inquiry into koalas (see our update here). The LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill is now being examined by an Upper House Inquiry. 

Following the stalling of the LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill, the Government repealed Koala SEPP 2019, and put in place State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2020 (Koala SEPP 2020) – which mirrored many of the policy setting of former SEPP 44 – as an interim measure, with plans for a new Koala SEPP to be developed in 2021. See EDO’s previous analysis: 

Government Announcement  
On 8 March 2021, the Government announced key measures that would be implemented in a new Koala SEPP 2021. 

At this stage, much of the detail is still missing. EDO has not seen a draft SEPP or Explanation of Intended Effects outlining the specific detail of the proposed new Koala SEPP, and proposed changes to both the land clearing codes and codes for private native forestry are yet to be developed. 

However, it appears that the Government is proposing to not only rewrite the Koala SEPP, but to also implement a number of proposals from the LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill, via a revised Koala SEPP and direct changes to land clearing and private native forestry codes, in order to overcome the scrutiny of the Parliament and despite LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill being the subject of an ongoing Upper House Inquiry.  

Our initial comments and concerns, based on the key measures outlined in the Government’s announcement dated 8 March 2021 (in italics), are outlined below: 

“The existing Koala SEPP 2020 will continue to apply in core rural zones (RU 1, 2 and 3), except in metropolitan Sydney, Blue Mountains and the Central Coast, where Koala SEPP 2021 will apply across all zones” and “Once the codes are finalised and reflected in legislation (as required), the Koala SEPP 2020 will be repealed and the Koala SEPP 2021 will apply to the remaining land”: It appears that the Government intends for core rural zones (RU1, 2 and 3) to be excluded from the operation of the new Koala SEPP. Instead, koala protections in land clearing codes and private native forestry codes will be revised. However, it is unclear how those codes would regulate development in core rural zones that requires development consent under planning legislation (which is the current purpose of the Koala SEPP, and not a current purpose of those codes). 
“Koala Plans of Management and guidelines under Koala SEPP 2021 will require the approval of the Secretary of DPIE and the concurrence of the Secretary of DRNSW”: This proposed measure will introduce a new concurrence role for Secretary of the Department of Regional NSW.  
“Comprehensive Koala Plans of Management (KPoM) will be finalised to protect koala habitat in Tweed and Byron Shires”: Completing KPoMs for Tweed and Byron Shires is a welcome, long overdue step. However, it is unclear what will happen to other local government areas that have not yet developed a KPoM or had a draft KPoMs finalised. It is unknown whether the Government will try and implement a controversial proposal from the LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill that will essentially ‘freeze in time’ the identification of koala habitat for the purpose of designating category 2 regulated land in the land clearing code (meaning only those areas that have a final KPoM in place protected from land clearing under the LLS Act) – see our analysis of the LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill here. 
A number of other proposed measures do not directly relate to the operation of the Koala SEPP, but rather to the regulation of rural land. These proposed measures had been addressed by the LLS Amendment Miscellaneous) Bill – see our analysis of the LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill here. In particular: 
“The Minister for Planning will issue a new section 9.1 direction to ensure that only the Minister, and not councils, will be empowered to rezone land used for primary production to an environmental zone, or to rezone land currently in rural zones 1, 2 and 3 to other rural zones”: This change will prevent councils from being able to rezone land used for primary production to an environmental zone.  The LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2020 had attempted to deal with concerns about the rezoning of primary production land to environmental zone by inserting new provisions for “allowable activity land”. This newly proposed measure is an alternative mechanism that could prevent environmental zones from being used as intended, to protect environmentally sensitive land, including koala habitat. 
“Dual consent provisions for PNF in local environmental plans will be removed through Koala SEPP 2021”: This is not directly related to Koala SEPP. The LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill had also attempted to do this. There is a PNF Review currently on foot ,and this change pre-empts the outcomes of that review. 
At this stage it is unclear what community consultation, if any, will be undertaken before the proposed measures are implemented.  

Based on this initial announcement from Government, EDO is concerned that planning protections for koalas are once again being driven by politics, rather than being evidence-based. Further, it would be underhanded to progress controversial changes by changing policy and codes, while similar proposals are under consideration by a parliamentary inquiry. 

Given that an earlier Upper House inquiry found that “the future of koalas in the wild in New South Wales cannot be guaranteed unless the NSW Government takes stronger action to prevent further loss of koala habitat”, any new policy developed in 2021 must put in place genuine, evidence-based protection for koala habitat that ensures the ongoing survival of koalas for generations to come.  

"KOALA AN ASSET."  Plea for Preservation.

Two of five koalas injured in bush fires at Newport on Saturday have died from exhaustion. The three bears which remain are being treated at Koala Park. The secretary of the Koala Club of Australia. Mr. Frank L. Edwards, said yesterday that, during 1937 and 1938, the club had participated in the rescue of nine maimed bears from the Pittwater district.

"At this rate," he added, "the animals will vanish from that district in three or four years. As there are not 200 of them left in New South Wales, this is a tragedy. Koalas, one of our best animal assets, are allowed to stray to their rapid destruction, as in the Pittwater district while the law requires that other stock be paddocked.

"If we lose them." Mr Edwards added, "twould be of little use to talk of stocking up with koalas from elsewhere. The States are  already refusing to transfer koalas and, In any case, the Queensland and Victorian native bear's are different types from ours."

"KOALA AN ASSET.". (1939, January 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

A Naturalist's Notebook. By M. S. R. Sharland.

The 'possums, in their different forms, are so widely distributed that they may in all truth be said to be the commonest of our wild animals. Brush-tail, ring-tail, and "flying squirrel" occur just as freely in and adjacent to the cities as in deep forests and open bushlands, though being nocturnal they seldom force themselves upon our notice.

Scattered throughout the State are districts which might well be termed strong-holds of wild life, where native animals are still plentiful. These places are not necessarily remote from towns or cities, not quite often close to them, and one I have in mind, and one of the most interesting of its kind, is the area of well wooded hills overlooking Pittwater and the sea, behind Avalon Beach, A friend muted me there for the week-end recently, and It happened to be a time when the moon was past the full, but for all that seemed to yield a more brilliant light, and rarely have I seen the bush so crisp and ornamental as on this night of sparkling luminosity.

What a lot of beauty we miss at night by living in cities. And what a lot of fascinating life moves beyond our ken under cover of darkness, the presence of which we suspect and only rarely see. Creatures whose ways and movements are shielded beneath the shadows of night nave a peculiar attraction, probably because human beings, not having "night eyes”, can never really understand them and something that we can't quite master is always attractive.

The stately spotted gums and wattles in front of the cottage yielded the sight of “flying squirrels" moving actively up and down the branches and parachuting from one tree to another as fancy took them. Ringtails also tenanted the trees. But the larger brush-tailed varieties came boldly over the ground and climbed a stump where their human friends had placed some food. I did not have the good fortune to see a native bear, but the koala is well known here, and, in fact, one came to the cottage the night after I had left. Avalon is one of the few remaining places where the koala can be seen in the wild state. It must be rigorously protected here, and would-be captors or destroyers kept away with flaming sword. The residents and regular week-end visitors are justly proud of the richness of the district's fauna, and thus are the best kind of "rangers."

Mr. A. J. Small, of Martin Place, recently told me two curious stories about possums, each of which had also to do with a cat. I had never heard of a possum doing battle with a cat, though the larger kinds are pugnacious enough. At any rate, Mr. Small told me that his cat at Avalon Beach had a fight with a possum and apparently came off worst, as the side of its face was badly torn by the possum's claws. The wound turned septic and caused a lot of trouble. In this case the cat probably attacked the possum, which retaliated to good effect.

The other story concerned a possum at Mr. Small's home at Wollstonecraft. He went out the back door one day and was surprised to see in broad daylight a possum and a cat sharing a plate of bones on the door mat. Neither animal showed any resentment of the other's presence. Mr. Small blames possums for making a mess of garbage tins, which they visit at night in search of food. 

From: The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Saturday 15 March 1941, page 11