UPDATE ON KANGAROO ISSUE

On 14th September a Bargara man was seriously injured in the backyard of his property when he was attacked by a large Eastern Grey Kangaroo. I have also received a number of concerns from members of the Bargara community who have felt threatened by a similar large animal (believed to be the same one) which has frequented the popular foreshore parkland areas as far south as The Basin at Kelly’s Beach.

Following the attack I asked the Council to obtain legal advice to clarify its roles and responsibilities regarding wildlife mitigation issues. That advice has now been received and confirms that issues involving the management of native wildlife and responses to threats or attacks are the role of the State Government’s Department of Environment & Heritage Protection (EHP) which possesses the expertise related to wildlife control.

Whilst Council is entitled to apply for a mitigation permit under certain circumstances, its staff are not trained, qualified or resourced to undertake such measures. Indeed, in a society where staff members are required to hold a certificate to change a light bulb it would be unconscionable to expect them to operate tranquilizing drugs or firearms in an urban or even a rural environment without being duly qualified or resourced. It follows that any such mitigating action by Council would have to be undertaken by qualified contractors at additional expense to regional ratepayers. Obviously, these contractors are equally available to any other agency should they consider it necessary to secure their services.

I should point out that this incident is different to the one last year when a large buck kangaroo had to be destroyed on the airside grounds of Bundaberg airport. In that instance the Council was compelled to meet its obligations under Federal (CASA) legislation which requires it to take every possible and immediate step to ensure the safety of airline passengers and aircrew. Unfortunately in that incident the evasive nature of the particular animal prevented the use of a tranquilizing dart.  

Following the Bargara attack EHP has responded by posting warning signs at the northern end of the township which provides advice to residents and visitors of the potential danger involved in approaching kangaroos and I would urge residents to heed that advice.  

The department has also advised that information relating to wildlife issues can be found at www.ehp.qld.gov.au

Specific advice relating to kangaroo issues can be found at https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/wildlife/livingwith/kangaroos.html

To report a wildlife incident call 1300 130 372

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