Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
The Andrews Labor Government’s Kangaroo Harvesting Program announced today with the aim of controlling spiralling kangaroo numbers, will be treated as a joke by East Gippsland farmers, according to Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
“The commercial quota for all of the Gippsland region – which includes East Gippsland, Wellington, South Gippsland, Bass Coast, Latrobe, Baw Baw, Cardinia, Casey and Mornington Peninsula Shires – is 925 kangaroos,” said Mr Bull.
“If you break it down, it averages 103 kangaroos per Shire – as if that is going to make any difference whatsoever.
“I thought they must have left a number off this figure. For Agriculture Minister, Jaclyn Symes, to say this will ‘ensure farmers aren’t being overrun by roos that can eat crops, damage property, and compete with stock for feed and water’ must be some sort of bureaucratic joke.
“This will make minimal difference in an area like Meerlieu / Bengworden / Strathfieldsaye, which is heavily over-populated with roos, let alone the entire East Gippsland Shire, nor will it have any discernible impact across the 44,000 square kilometres of the nine shires outlined by the government.
“While the kangaroos harvested will go to pet food, kangaroos controlled with an Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) permit won’t be able to be processed as pet food. Why not use this meat, rather than leave it to rot in a paddock feeding feral animals?”
Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said the kangaroo pet food industry thrived when first set up by the former Liberal Nationals government in 2014, but it’s struggled through five years of delays and uncertainty under Daniel Andrews.
“A permanent program is long overdue and desperately-needed to control exploding kangaroo populations, it remains to be seen if the latest changes will work or if processors, hunters and farmers are just being wrapped up in more red tape,” he said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, and Australian Landscape Trust Ecologist Madeline Watts at the Trust’s Strathfieldsaye Estate property last year where spiralling kangaroo numbers are threatening the survival of the Estate’s agricultural research and conservation programs.