THE proposed killing of a large mob of kangaroos at a Cape Schanck property may have been averted after a “holistic solution” between the property manager and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council was thrashed out last week.
The manager, who asked not to be named, said he had met with Mornington Peninsula Shire CEO John Baker at the Patterson Road property and they had agreed on a one or two month moratorium on the cull.
Mr Baker told councillors at last week’s meeting there was an “undertaking on the table to suspend the culling for up to eight weeks while alternative measures” other than killing the kangaroos were found.
This would entail the parties working out a plan to release the kangaroos without them posing a threat to the viability of the manager’s or neighbouring properties (“Death threats over kangaroo cull” The News 5/10/21).
Councillors later backed a plan by Cr David Gill and seconded by Cr Anthony Marsh to urge the state government to suspend all permits to kill native wildlife – particularly threatened species – pending a review of their “existing and future viability”.
It also voted to assist the property manager in his efforts to humanely remove the kangaroos and to help with surveillance to protect boundary fencing.
The council will “officially express concern” to the government over the animals’ welfare and “urgently request the suspension of any permit to kill the estimated 600 kangaroos”.
It will ask for an investigation into the culling and harvesting system managed by the Department of Environment, Lands, Water and Planning that “appears to allow granting of some types of permits without full and proper consideration as required by the Wildlife Act 1975”. This includes clauses referring to impeding the of movement and the ongoing viability of native species, such as kangaroos.
The manager, who said he had received “death threats over social media” when word of the proposed culling emerged, said: “If I released them now, they would simply go to other farms and that would not be a solution to the problem.
“The reality is that to find a solution it must be holistic and that has not happened until now.
“The situation now is a catalyst to finding an ongoing solution to the problem.”
The manager said animal activists were cutting wire fences at his and neighbouring farms, but this had the effect of letting more kangaroos onto the properties rather than encouraging them to return to the Greens Bush National Park.
He said police and DELWP “know the fence cutting is a huge problem”.
The manager said the “holistic solution” he and Mr Baker formulated meant the “misguided and ill-informed individuals who cut the fences” were “now stakeholders of the problem”.
“I can only operate inside the law,” he said.