HUNDREDS of kangaroos trapped on private property at Cape Schanck have a chance to make their way to freedom in Greens Bush national park through recently installed one-way gates.
After pressure from the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and animal advocates, the property manager recently agreed to let the shire install one-way gates to allow the kangaroos return safely to their natural habitat.
Three one-way gates have been installed along the boundary between the privately-owned farm and the national park to create a safe exit for the kangaroos who are believed to have entered the private property through holes in the fence.
The gates’ installation comes after extensive discussions between the shire, the property’s manager Kenneth Neff and representatives from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
The shire is working with DELWP on a wildlife management plan to better manage and protect the peninsula’s wildlife.
The mayor Cr Anthony Marsh said the council believed the one-way gates would resolve the situation, which has been ongoing for most of the year.
“Nobody wanted to see the kangaroos culled,” he said.
Cr David Gill said he was happy with the one-way gates.
“They will allow the kangaroos to exit the property without placing them in danger or making them stressed,” he said. “The peninsula’s kangaroo population is under severe pressure and we need to do what we can to protect them.”
Volunteers report that more kangaroos have been seen in the Greens Bush national park since the gates were installed, suggesting the gates are working.
Spokesperson for Save the Kangaroos of the Mornington Peninsula, Craig Thomson, said it was too early to celebrate. He said one-way gates should be installed at every point along the fence line where it was obvious kangaroos had been gaining access.
He said there was a risk that kangaroos could be injured, or that joeys could become separated from their mothers.
Thomson said volunteers were distressed that DELWP had not been monitoring the situation but had allocated 100 kangaroo harvest program tags to the property manager while only visiting the property once since October 2021, as revealed in a Freedom of Information request.
The Cape Schanck property is one of 14 on the peninsula that have active permits to cull wildlife.
SKMP’s Jo Hanson has called for the kangaroo culls to stop.
“Unless this barbarism is halted there will be no kangaroos left on the peninsula in the very near future.”