Legislative Assembly 5 October 2021
Mr MORRIS (Mornington): (6041) I raise a matter today for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.
The action that I seek from the minister is that she immediately take action to ensure the safety of a mob of eastern grey kangaroos at Cape Schanck on the Mornington Peninsula.
Last week there were distressing reports of a large mob of kangaroos, by some estimates up to 280, that had found themselves on the wrong side of a fence between private property and Greens Bush, which forms part of the Mornington Peninsula National Park.
Now I’m aware that there is debate about how the animals came to be where they are, and certainly conflicting views regarding the effectiveness of the fencing, particularly whether holes may have been cut in it. If it has been damaged, that is a matter for the police.
I do not seek to enter into that debate, nor do I ask the minister to become involved, beyond ensuring that the fence at Greens Bush is appropriate.
The fact is there are a large number of kangaroos on a property of approximately 70 ha. If the reported numbers are correct, that equates to four kangaroos per hectare, a density which is clearly beyond the capacity of the land and must inevitably result in starvation if no action is taken.
I understand that the Conservation Regulator has issued a statement confirming that the land manager at the property is in possession of an authority to control wildlife permit for the legal control of eastern grey kangaroos. There is also a kangaroo management plan in place. I also understand that authorised officers are actively monitoring activities in the area.
There are no known breaches of the Wildlife Act at this time, yet, but that is not the point.
We cannot have a situation where the minister and the authorities sit back and wait until someone breaks the law or the animals die of starvation. A large number of kangaroos are at potential risk, and quite frankly the longer we wait the greater the risk becomes.
This is a situation that requires ministerial intervention, and it requires immediate intervention.
I urge the minister to act immediately to ensure that every kangaroo that is at risk is relocated to a safe place as a matter of urgency.