News

Council and state fight over who will kill the 'roo

THE responsibility for removing or destroying a kangaroo that injured a 67-year-old man in an attack last month has developed into a standoff between Bundaberg Regional Council and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP).
THE responsibility for removing or destroying a kangaroo that injured a 67-year-old man in an attack last month has developed into a standoff between Bundaberg Regional Council and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP).

THE responsibility for removing or destroying a kangaroo that injured a 67-year-old man in an attack last month has developed into a stand-off between Bundaberg Regional Council and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP).

An EHP spokesman said under the Nature Conservation Act, the EHP issued damage mitigation permits to landholders or local authorities to manage or remove problem native wildlife.

"EHP is not responsible for managing or removing the wildlife itself," he said.

But Bargara Divisional representative Greg Barnes said Wednesday's incident at Apple Tree Creek, which saw EHP officers remove five pet kangaroos from private property, highlighted that native animal issues were the responsibility of the EHP.

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett has also been drawn into the clash and said the Apple Creek Tree and the Bargara issues were very different circumstances and adhered to different sections of legislation.

"One is native animals being kept as pets in contravention to the Nature Conservation Act and the other is a wild animal coming on to private property," he said.

Mr Bennett said EHP wildlife officers contacted Bundaberg Regional Council about the situation when the attack occurred.

"They offered to help should council require a damage mitigation permit to remove the kangaroo," he said.

"No application has yet been received.

"For two and a half weeks we've asked council to apply for the permit so we can work with them and approve a damage mitigation permit which stipulates the methods that can be used to remove dangerous kangaroos."

But Cr Barnes said the responsibility lies with the department and local ratepayers shouldn't have to foot the bill for something the department was responsible for.

"We believe the onus to resolve this issue lies with EHP as wildlife is within its area of responsibility," Cr Barnes said.

"Enough is enough; we can't continue to have our constituents put at risk.

"This kangaroo has been seen in the parkland and playgrounds around Nielson's Beach, southward along the Bargara Esplanade and as far as The Basin at the northern end of Kelly's Beach.

"Given that these areas are among those most frequented by residents and visitors alike, the potential danger of allowing this kangaroo to continue roaming in this area is unacceptable."

Topics:  bundaberg regional council, ehp, kangaroo attack




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