Bill Mollison’s Original Permaculture Farm to Join Others in Huge NSW-Queensland Koala Corridor


A farm that once belonged to the father of permaculture, Bill Mollison, will join a growing movement that is setting aside land for a safe and permanent koala corridor from northern New South Wales to the Queensland border.

Last year, Bangalow Koalas President Linda Sparrow met with the current owner of Mr. Mollison’s farm, retired veterinarian John Quayle, to team up in the coming months to plant more than 4,000 trees. on the 67 hectare property near Tyalgum, at the foot of The Pinnacle. .

“I think we live in God’s paradise here,” Mr. Quayle said.

Since the devastating bushfires last summer, Ms Sparrow said farmers wanted to create wildlife corridors on their land.

Experts estimate that at least 30,000 koalas across Australia have died in the fires.

“It’s actually the farmers who come to us,” said Ms. Sparrow.

Retired vet John Quayle creates a koala lane on his picturesque property.(

ABC Gold Coast: Frontier Cathy

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“More and more farmers want to plant on their property.

From February to September of last year, the Bangalow koalas planted nearly 54,000 trees.

Koala curled up next to a burnt tree and dirt with a canister of water in front of it along the road after Qld bush fires
A koala sits at the base of a charred tree and scorched earth after the Queensland bushfires.(

Provided: RSPCA

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The group successfully applied for a federal government bushfire recovery grant covering the planned 10 ha koala area on Mr Quayle’s property, and more on a neighboring property.

The group has now planted trees in every county in northern NSW.

“As a result, our corridor goes from Byron Bay and circles… towards Tenterfield, Grafton and up to the Queensland border,” Ms Sparrow said.

“Most of our time is spent with people who have contacted us before, and when there is a lull, we go out and pursue other people.”

From logging to wildlife refuge

The Plantation Project is another reincarnation of Mr. Quayle’s farm, now called Mariefields Organic Farm.

Two people holding hands with a small child between them, a wedding officiant to the right.
Neighbors Erica and Matt McCann got married in Mariefields with The Pinnacle as a glorious natural backdrop.(

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The land was largely harvested in the 1900s for native cedars and turpentines before it became a dairy farm.

In the late 1980s, Mr. Mollison bought the property, then called Tagari Farm.

He implemented his pioneering methods at the time, creating a sustainable forest farm that had minimal impact on the environment.

Mr. Mollison’s key concept, permaculture, is based on finding creative solutions to live a more sustainable life by growing local organic food, reducing energy consumption, recycling waste and creating a habitat for other lives around us.

Bitter legal battles ensued, Mr. Mollison returned to Tasmania and the property was closed for 20 years.

After Mr. Mollison’s death in 2016Mr. Quayle decided to buy the farm and rebuild the legacy of permaculture.

“Everything is operational now. It took a long time,” he said.

As a result, the agricultural ecosystem is “amazing,” Quayle said.

A clear and clean running flow.
A stream on Mariefields where platypus and other wildlife live.(

ABC Gold Coast: Frontier Cathy

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They often see dingoes roaming the national park.

“A lot of people don’t like dingoes, but as far as I’m concerned, they’re part of the natural ecosystem,” Quayle said.

There are black cockatoos, echidnas and elusive platypuses in the farm stream.

Mr. Quayle is adamant that conservation measures on the property will continue.

“As long as I’m alive. The property is in a family trust, so I hope they continue,” he says.

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