The Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) was able to help citizen advocates generate a groundswell of public awareness and fight-back in June and July 2022 against the now annual ‘cull’ in Canberra of the kangaroo (our icon holding up one side of the federal coat-of-arms). Whole kangaroo families are shot behind suburban backyards — for reasons that remain unclear despite government blame-the-victim narratives — on nature reserves in the national capital.
The issues facing kangaroos on the Peninsula, state and countrywide are serious and it is vital we get the word out to the public. We can offer a few ways for concerned citizens to get involved and express their opinions to be a voice for wildlife.
Firstly, the Authority to Control Wildlife (cull) permit system is currently under review. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have opened up submissions to the public, submissions close on June 29th 2018. The review discussion paper (https://engage.vic.gov.au/download_file/8625/1422 and https://engage.vic.gov.au/application/files/8315/2481/0498/ATCW_Review_Discussion_Paper-FINAL.pdf) is over 30 pages and may be overwhelming to some, especially if people feel they don't have sufficient background knowledge. The Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) and other wildlife interest groups have been working on 'cheat sheets', background information and a media release to help members of the public with their individual submissions and getting the word out about the review and other worrying proposals. The AWPC will have a finalised information document by Monday 11th June 2018, please contact the AWPC for a copy, it will help with your submissions.
1. We encourage everyone who cares about the plight of wildlife to make an individual submission. Submissions are made online here: https://engage.vic.gov.au/atcwreview
DELWP's 'Idea' to ban the rescue and rehab of 'over abundant species'
On page 31 of the ATCW review discussion paper it states the following regarding an idea 'someone in the community' had about banning the rescue and rehabilitation of 'over abundant' species:
'Not allowing the rehabilitation of Eastern Grey Kangaroos or other overabundant species.
Wildlife shelters and foster carers invest significant time and resources rehabilitating sick, injured and orphaned Eastern Grey Kangaroos. Given that the species is overabundant in many areas and is the species that the majority of ATCWs are issued for, some members of the community have suggested that the species should not be able to be rehabilitated under the wildlife shelter system. A restriction on rehabilitating Eastern Grey Kangaroos has been in place in the ACT for many years, as the species is overabundant in the territory and is subject to significant control activities to protect property and biodiversity values. While this is outside the scope of the ATCW review, it may be considered in future reviews of the wildlife shelter system, as it may save significant shelter resources and reduce the impact of the species on landholders. In this context, it may also be appropriate to consider whether the rehabilitation of unprotected wildlife, such as wombats, cockatoos or possums, should be disallowed or restricted to areas where such wildlife is not over-abundant (e.g. wombats found outside the parishes where the unprotection order applies)'
Whilst DELWP have distanced themselves from admitting they are seriously considering such a ban, they did publish the 'idea' on the discussion paper, they have mentioned such plans to wildlife shelters in the past and so it is very important that we express our strong outrage at such a prospect.
2. Wildlife groups have put together a press release to get the word out about the 'ban idea' in the media (attached), please feel free to use it and write letters to the editors, contact your local MPs, papers and make posts on social media.
The Truth about Funding
Not only is it untrue to say the money could be better spent elsewhere, it is misleading and suggests that wildlife rescue and rehab is funded by the state government. Wildlife shelters across the state share a measly $170,000 in grant funding in 2018. If wildlife shelter applicants are successful the grant is capped at $2000 per shelter per year, including a maximum of $1000 on food. So that is just $2000 per year to rescue, rehab and raise sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. The state government gives NO other funding to wildlife or wildlife volunteers. This includes looking after burnt animals from prescribed burns!
The grant program closed in Feb 2018 and we only heard back today (June 2018) whether we were successful or not. Not all shelters are given a yearly grant. Those who miss out continue to fully self fund or fundraise for their wildlife shelters.
This woefully inadequate amount of funding is further put into perspective when you consider the recent CSIRO research paper (attached) which estimates the true cost of rescue and rehab of wildlife to be $6 billion nationally. Also considering the Daniel Andrew's government is set to give the AFL $225 million to upgrade a football stadium, it is ridiculous to suggest that $170k shared to a lucky few statewide be better spent elsewhere!
Numbers of Kangaroos and 'Over abundant' Species
DELWP state that some species are 'over abundant' but have no real data on numbers. For e.g the yearly kangaroo count contracted out by DELWP ran for only 2 weeks and didn't count in all regions e.g. some areas of East Gippsland were not counted. They counted mainly from the air. We have attached an interesting article written by Peter Hylands (Creative Cowboy) that tells the truth about the government numbers.
It is also worth noting that the number of animals culled every year is published by DELWP (attached) the list of species and numbers are quite shocking. DELWP admit that they don't require ATCW (cull) permit holders to submit returns of the numbers of animals that are culled. We know that this means the actual numbers of wildlife being culled is probably many more than they are permitted to kill. So it begs the question of how accurate DELWP's 'data' is on numbers culled and whether this department is at all concerned about the accuracy of the data they publish. Why should be trust the kangaroo numbers from a 2 week aerial survey are correct when we know they publish incorrect cull numbers for the public to see?
3. Please share this information far and wide and feel free to contact the AWPC or other wildlife groups for more information. Contact the minister (lily.d’[email protected]) and the secretary of DELWP ([email protected]) and express your concerns, tell your friends and family, get it out to the media, discuss it with your local vet and get them on board.
Please have a voice on these important issues. If we don't protect habitat and wildlife we will damage the environment for the generations to come.
Eve Kelly, Secretary
Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc.
The cover photo is of one of the 13 ringtail possums brought into care at stage 1 of VicRoads' clearing. (See "VicRoads mulch wildlife on Mornington Peninsula -AWPC intervention".) She had a deep facial injury which eventually recovered; she has since been released back into the wild. She was one of the lucky ones, many animals were mulched alive or run over by the heavy machinery that VicRoads used. Autumn has arrived and re-planting of the cleared median strip has not commenced, I would assume that it’s because they haven’t yet finished installing the safety barriers. This begs the question why did they go ahead and clear in spring, if they were going to take this long to complete the barriers? They could have left nesting birds to fledge.
Eve Kelly, Secretary
Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc.
An article appeared in the Irish Times in 2007 about the danger that the wire safety barriers cause to motorcyclists. Back then, some countries were considering removing these types of barriers from their roads. VicRoads, in the meantime, has razed vegetation and mulched wildlife recently in order to install these barriers with their dubious safety record. (See "VicRoads mulch wildlife on the Mornington Peninsula.") No doubt someone is making a lot of money out of selling them to VicRoads. But that's no justification for clearing vegetation and injuring, killing and orphaning protected wildlife. All the less so if they may need to remove the barriers in the future because they are unsafe. The illustration in the article is taken from the Times Record News reporting a 2017 incident in Vernon Texas where a motorcyclist received near-fatal injuries on this kind of barrier. This article is based on part of one called "AWPC call for VicRoads to cease clearing plans on the Mornington Peninsula", by Eve Kelly of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council.
Eve Kelly, who is the very hard working Secretary for the Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC), is also a wonderful singer and songwriter. She composed and performed this song with Josh Geoghegan. She then uploaded pictures of rescued baby wildlife from friends and contacts all over the place. So the song is illustrated with many wonderful pictures - in fact, they get better as it goes on. It will probably make you sniffle a bit but you will feel better to know that Eve is working for AWPC. Please consider donating to AWPC here and here online. The money will be very well spent. AWPC is engaged at a level I have not seen before for wildlife or wildlife carers. Such is the predicament of our wildlife in the face of 'planning' and population growth and the most unsympathetic government departments you could imagine.
"Bush heritage makes some rather big assertions about the impact of kangaroos at their Scottdale reserve and the impacts this wildlife species is having on the biodiversity there. If Bush Heritage is serious about their claims then they need to be a little more transparent," writes Craig Thomson, President of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council.
"Bush Heritage Australia has forfeited the inheritance of a 350-acre property near Bega and lost numerous donors as they face backlash from a planned kangaroo cull at Scottsdale Reserve, south of Canberra. Regular supporters of the non-profit organisation have pulled donations following reports of a cull, with one referring to the organisation as "hopeless frauds". Bush Heritage aims to "conserve biodiversity" at properties either purchased or donated across Australia." http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/bush-heritage-australia-faces-backlash-after-kangaroo-culling-claims-20160708-gq1fpa.html
They can start by answering and providing information to the following questions
- When do they class a wildlife species as being over abundant?
- What is a sustainable kangaroo population at Scottdale Reserve?
- What is the roos' population current range in and around their reserve?
- Are there any neighbouring or local land uses or management practices that would see kangaroos returning to Scottdale reserve more often and in greater number?
- How many kangaroos are on the reserve day in and out?
- Has there been any scientific data of kangaroo starvation cases at Scottdale reserve or regionally before?
- While it is hard to watch an animal starve to death, it is a common condition of the natural world, in particular with drought and over abundant populations. So why do Bush Heritage feel the need to interject in a natural process, which in itself could have far bigger ecological problems?
- What is the science and guidelines being implemented by Bush heritage?
- Who are the independent experts being engaged by Bush Heritage?
- What humane methods are being developed?
- What scientific evidence can Bush Heritage provide that kangaroos are having a detrimental effect on other species?
- Has all weed habitat changing plants like serrated tussock grass been removed from Scottdale reserve and regionally?
- Do Bush heritage conduct any fuel reduction burns at Scottdale reserve?
- Is Scottdale reserve free of pest animals such as rabbits?
We hear explanations of why there are too many and debate what control measures should be taken. What is very rarely discussed is what is a sustainable population size, the roos ecological benefits and social structure. In a race to demonise our national icon for commercial vested interest or in this case a so called natural balance. The critical point missed is the roo social structure. Large alpha males control breeding within the mobs. When shooting takes place which animals are shot first? Well you can very confidently say it would be the roos who control the social structures within the mobs.
So the question about controlling kangaroos should be whether or not a bias against kangaroos prevents us from understanding their biology, ecology and social structures? Has this led to poor management practices, where the preferential killing of large males has possibly caused early breeding of youngsters, increasing numbers in some cases? (See Sheila Newman, "Roo scientists admit industry stimulates roo population growth whilst calling roos pests".)
Wildlife rescuer and carer, Rebecca Koller, has observed an unprecedented number of Spectacled flying fox casualties in a traditional breeding site located near a new hotel construction in Cairnes. The spectacled flying fox is a threatened species. Despite many attempts to get the Australian government to investigate and or intervene, the government has failed to get back to her. This is even though the problem has received extensive publicity and the species is about to have its threatened status upgraded from vulnerable to endangered. The source of this article is correspondence between Ms Koller and The Australian Wildlife Protection Council.
On Wed, 3 Jan 2018 at 11:51 AM, Rebecca Koller wrote to Craig Thomson, the president of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC), asking for his advice and or assistance based on his knowledge of our government and wildlife protection.
Ms Koller is a flying fox carer from Far North Queensland and the Wildlife advisor of the Cairns Flying Fox advisory board.
Here is the website she posts to: https://www.ouranimalsourearth.com/
She has been documenting the Spectacled flying fox deaths and orphans at the Cairns Library flying fox colony. Despite numerous attempts, she had received no communication from the Australian federal government regarding her requests for it to intervene or investigate the unprecedented number of pups from this breeding season found dead or orphaned.
The camp referred to carries about 4000 flying foxes. Ms Koller says that this is a huge reduction on previous seasons. Since September 15th 2017, there were 898 flying foxes dead or orphaned from this one camp, compared with 366 last season. In her opinion and that of other wildlife carers, the increased casualties are attributable to the construction work directly across from the roost trees.
Listen to a really informative ABC FM interview with Rebecca Koller on the flying foxes:
Wildlife carer observations deserve respect; they are often all we have
The Cairns Library Colony flying fox camp is considered federally of national significance. Ms Koller has been documenting both orphans and deaths . See the record of deaths and orphans for this season and the previous one. (Females spectacled flying foxes give birth to one young per year, in the October to December period. Juveniles are nursed for over five months and, on weaning, congregate in nursery trees in the colony.)
This record of casualties in the colony has been criticised as only "anecdotal and observatory" by a spokesperson for the company, who says there is no history for comparison. Candobetter.net would say that careful observations from wildlife carers, who know the history of the colony and can point to photographs of corpses and to the animals in their care, cannot and should not be dismissed so easily. If this is the only source of a count on this species, then it is precious and deserves respect. We note that official counts do not monitor the Cairns breeding colonies, which is convenient for the massive development going on there, but needs urgently to be remedied.
The construction company began building what will be a multimillion dollar hotel development just prior to the birthing season. Ms Koller describes, as the only new factors in this birthing season from the previous one, the clearing of trees once occupied by the flying foxes, the presence of equipment such as pile drivers, and multiple cranes, with arms swinging directly over the roost trees. She says she has written to EHP, the threatened species commissioner, the media, and raised the subject in council meetings on numerous occasions but to no avail.
Greater protection needs to be afforded to the animals due to their decline as a species, their importance as a keystone species and the significance of this particular maternity camp.
Where to make Go Fund Me contributions to the Spectacled flying foxes in Cairns
Ms Koller has over 50 orphans in her care and had to arrange the transport of 100 orphans to the Australian Bat Clinic in Brisbane, because there were simply not enough carers in her area to cope with the number of flying foxes orphaned this season. Ms Koller crowd funded money to help support carers’ costs to care for these animals. See the wonderful baby bat pictures at https://www.gofundme.com/4m5qayg. Although she raised just over $10,000, all of this has already been used up for necessary supplies. There are still three to four unfunded months remaining before carers can begin to release the flying foxes they have raised. In addition, the birthing season has not yet ended and rescuers are still finding dead and orphaned on a daily basis.
Ms Koller met with the ecologist conducting the monitoring for the construction company and has been keeping him abreast of the bat casualty totals this year compared to the previous year.
Flying Foxes, Government, wildlife carers and wildlife protection on the ground
Craig Thomson, President of Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC), congratulated Ms Koller on her actions to date and commented,
”The information to be found about this flying fox species, is a perfect example of both federal and state governments appearing to do the right thing by undertaking steps to improve protection. Such protection is, unfortunately, rarely if ever enacted or carried out on the ground, leading to the species’ existence being threatened further.”
“This is highlighted with the Spectacled flying fox species being listed as vulnerable in 2002 and a more recent public consultation seeking recommendations for its conservation status at the end of 2016.
“It would be interesting to know if the Spectacled flying fox conservation status is to be upgraded from this process or whether it was part of the work that the officer Rebecca Koller has had correspondence with, stating that "federal and state governments were working to have the same conservation status for the species".
Mr Thomson added,
“It seems disingenuous to me that the federal and state governments and agencies have been making statements such as "This spectacled flying-fox has been subject to appreciable research, monitoring and management over the last 20 years. It is a high priority species under Queensland’s “Back on Track program." See the following link http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/pages/0e526f41-7db6-4e21-b2a2-8aa9b2b45352/files/consultation-document-pteropus-conspicillatus.pdf. It appears, despite this, that licenses can still be obtained for lethal control. Furthermore, attempts by carers and advocates like Rebecca Koller, to raise welfare concerns about these flying foxes are met with complacency and threats. Yet, they are still being called upon to rescue, rehabilitate and release them back to the wild.”
"Fortunately there is a recovery plan for the species and it is internationally protected and recognised, as such this is where we need to focus for the best outcomes. Below is a list of the 8 recovery objectives, if we are able to find proof that these objectives are not being met. It could be possible to proceed legal action."
Recovery Objectives for the Spectacled Flying Fox
Recovery Objective 1: Research practicable and cost effective flying fox deterrent systems for commercial fruit growers.
Recovery Objective 2: Identify and protect native foraging habitat critical to the survival of the spectacled flying fox.
Recovery Objective 3: Accurately assess the short and long term population size and population trends of the spectacled flying-fox.
Recovery Objective 4: Improve the public perception of the spectacled flying-fox and the standard of information available to guide recovery.
Recovery Objective 5: Increase knowledge of P conspicillatus roosting
requirements and protect important camps.
Recovery Objective 6: Improve understanding of incidence of tick paralysis and actions to minimise paralysis mortality in flying foxes.
Recovery Objective 7: Implement strategies to reduce incidence of electrocution and entanglement of P. conspicillatus.
Recovery Objective 8 Investigate the causes of birth abnormalities such as cleft palate syndrome.
Spectacled Flying Fox threatened status nominated for upgrading from Vulnerable to Endangered
SFF have been nominated under the Commonwealth threatened species legislation for up-listing from Vulnerable to Endangered.
Qld government (Labor 2015) promised to match Commonwealth threatened species listing for SFF, so when they move up the EPBC list, they should also move up the Qld thretened species listing from Vulnerable to Endangered. The Minister (Commonwealth) is expected to announce his decision on uplisting on 18 February. nomination has been considered by the TSSC and the Minister is expected to make his decision on 18 February. It has been a long wait.
International obligations for the Spectacled flying fox under CITES
The international obligations are as follows: "The spectacled flying fox is listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Populations of the spectacled flying fox are recognised as values of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area and therefore under the protection of World Heritage Convention". In this regard we can always contact both CITES and the World Heritage Convention to embarrass the government's into action. The same could be said of the hotel development who is currently claiming that values of Queensland Wet Tropics World heritage area is damaging their business. While making a point of this, it would be a great opportunity to advocate for the Spectacled bats ecological and economical services. The link below is the recovery plan for the species which has both the objectives and international matters.
 The spectacled flying fox was listed as a threatened species under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1991. They were considered vulnerable due to a significant decline in numbers as a result of loss of their prime feeding habitat and secluded camp sites.
This week Craig Thomson, President of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council, is working on a submission to oppose the rezoning of Melbourne Water land in Rosebud South. Unfortunately he has run into problems getting appropriate ecological information about the site. He wonders if the State Government and Melbourne water have deliberately made the ecological report unavailable. The fauna report relies solely on a habitat assessment and a desktop study for threatened species.
AWPC President, Mr Thomson, says that the absence of on ground fauna surveys is very alarming that there was no on ground fauna surveys. He asks,
"Is this now what happens when the state government tries to fast track rezoning crown land for commercial profit. Or, worse, has it become common practice? It seems like a little of both. Either way this lack of survey will miss the Eastern grey kangaroos, koalas, swamp wallabies and echidnas that survive on this urban fringe. It also misses the potential for threatened species to be present on site. Any potential development on this site could be the difference between extinction or survival of local biodiversity."
"That is is not good enough."
See the information provided below. For more about the site go to http://www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/planning/about-planning/planning-services-directory/fast-track-government-land-service/181-jetty-road,-rosebud.
How to make a submission
All submissions must be directed to the Advisory Committee and will be treated as public documents. If you would like to make a presentation at the Public Hearing, you must make a written submission and complete the relevant section of the online form.
ABZECO Biodiversity Assessment Report 16048 South East Outfall Pipeline: Jetty Road to Rosebud Avenue, Rosebud V1.0-August2016 pg22
A fauna assessment of the study area consisted of an on-foot field survey of habitat quality and a desktop assessment of the likelihood of fauna species of conservation significance occurring within the study area. A detailed zoological survey comprising a range of techniques over different seasons was not undertaken for this study as it was beyond the scope of works.
5.1 Pre-existing information search
The Victorian Biodiversity Atlas (VBA) was queried for threatened fauna species recorded within a 5 km radius of the study area (DSE 2013a). Appendix 4 provides the results of this query.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Protected Matters Search Tool (PMST) on the Commonwealth Department of Environment (DoE), website was queried to determine if any protected fauna related matters not reported in the VBA query are considered likely to occur within the study area. Species identified in the EPBC query are presented in Appendix 5.
5.2 Fauna Habitat
Vegetation in the study area is likely to provide suitable foraging and nesting habitat for a range of common fauna species such as common woodland birds and arboreal mammals such as Common Ringtail Possum Pseudocheirus peregrinus. However, based on habitat requirements for a range of threatened fauna species that are known to occur locally and the poor site condition and fragmented landscape, it is considered unlikely that the vegetation on the site would serve as critical or limiting habitat for significant fauna species.
The majority of threatened fauna species previously recorded within the 5km search area or predicted to occur are considered unlikely to utilise the study area. The low likelihood rating is based on various factors including, lack of suitable habitat, lack of recent database records or the predicted location being outside of the known habitat range of current species populations. One listed species, Powerful Owl Ninox strenua occupies a large home range and as such may utilise sections of the study area for occasional foraging. However vegetation throughout the site is considered unlikely to provide limiting or critical habitat for this species as the site supports few large or hollow bearing trees.
Australian Wildlife Protection Council asks Mornington Peninsula Council to investigate potential breaches at 461-469 Waterfall Gully Rd and also to ensure that important remnant vegetation and heritage listed trees are better protected from property development. At the very least Council should ensure planning applications that are granted to remove indigenous vegetation are required to have wildlife spotters on site and flora professionals the opportunity to collect seed and plant material for environmental revegetation projects.
To Antonella Celi,
[Councillor for the Seawinds Ward, Mornington Peninsula Shire]
During the council election campaign, you advocated for protecting neighbourhood character from over development. Which rightly is a concerning issue many locals feel strongly about. One such development application which has been approved and works which have started is 461-469 Waterfall Gully Rd, VCAT REFERENCE NO. P566/2016, PERMIT APPLICATION NO. P15/1026. I know this application has been raised in a number of council meetings and one you yourself have spoken out against.
While I do not have the arborist report to confirm my suspicions, I do strongly believe that works that have commenced have breached the permit. That the Mornington Peninsula council is responsible for enforcing. The breaches I believe to have occurred are listed at the bottom of the page.
I am really frustrated and angry that a manna gum that was estimated to be between 300-500yrs old could be cut down. Especially considering there was a vegetation protection overlay on the property, the tree in question was recommended to be heritage listed and I was in the process of making a heritage listing request. With the assistance of Peninsula Speaks. It is very disappointing to know council staff do not take their job seriously and defer their employment duties to community members. I really do believe if the planning department took the enquiries seriously from the public and did the job expected of them, that historical indigenous tree would have been saved. It does not surprise me with the attitude of staff, that developers are advertising the sale of houses. Before the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council approve planning applications.
I now ask that the council investigate the potential breaches at 461-469 Waterfall Gully Rd and also ensure that important remnant vegetation and heritage listed trees are better protected from property development. At the very least ensure planning applications that are granted to remove indigenous vegetation are required to have wildlife spotters on site and flora professionals the opportunity to collect seed and plant material for environmental revegetation projects.
President Australian Wildlife Protection Council
Secretary Animalia Wildlife Shelter
Treasurer Save Tootgarook Swamp Inc.
461-469 Waterfall Gully Rd
VCAT REFERENCE NO. P566/2016
PERMIT APPLICATION NO. P15/1026
Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO1).
Design and Development Overlay (DDO1).
I believe that the above overlays should have been enough to protect the manna gum.
I believe that the following conditions have been breached,
1. (b) A vegetation removal plan which utilises the numbering in the Arborist report submitted and which shows vegetation proposed to be removed and vegetation proposed to be retained, with the vegetation to be retained being Trees 46, 62, 67, 76, 88, 93, 97, 111, 112 and 113
There are now less Eucalypt trees remaining than were meant to be protected.
12. Prior to the commencement of any building or works, appropriate tree protection fencing must be erected in accordance with Australian Standard AD4970 – 2009 (Protection of Trees on Development Sites). The tree protection fencing must remain in place until the completion of any works hereby approved.
This did not happen.
I believe The following probably has not been under taken,
13. The construction methods contained within the Arborist report endorsed under this permit must be undertaken.
Native Vegetation Offsets
15. In order to offset the removal of 0.024 hectares of remnant patches and 13 scattered trees approved as part of this permit, the applicant must provide a native vegetation offset that meets the following requirements, and is in accordance with the Permitted Clearing of Native Vegetation – Biodiversity Assessment Guidelines and the Native Vegetation Gain Scoring Manual. The general offset must:
* (a) Contribute gain of 0.063 general biodiversity equivalence units.
* (b) Have a minimum strategic biodiversity score of 0.181.
* (c) Be located within the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority boundary.
16. Before any native vegetation is removed from the site, evidence in the form of a credit register extract from the Native Vegetation Credit Register must be provided to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority. This offset must meet the offset requirements set out in this permit and be in accordance with the requirements of Permitted Clearing of Native Vegetation – Biodiversity Assessment Guidelines and the Native Vegetation Gain Scoring Manual.
“Avoid culling roos for development by planning wildlife corridors,” says Craig Thomson, AWPC’s new Wildlife Planning Officer. In the face of state planning avoidance of obligation towards wildlife, Mr Thomson and AWPC want to crowdfund the purchase of private land to preserve wildlife corridors from being fenced off by farmers or built over by suburbia. The situation is increasingly dire for kangaroos and koalas particularly. Please consider helping this initiative. Contact details at end of article.
On Monday 7 December 2015, the Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) announced its appointment of Mr Craig Thomson, of Wildlife Ecosystems Retention and Restoration, as their Wildlife Planning Officer.
"It's a great privilege to work with AWPC," said Mr Thomson. "Currently with land clearing for development, councils require ‘offsets’. But offsets very rarely consider what happens to displaced wildlife, except for 'managing' it, which is a euphemism for conducting 'cull' or 'fertility' programs.
Maryland Wilson, AWPC President, said she was shocked to read of Ian Temby's recent call to cull kangaroos ahead of development as the only option for roos displaced by Melbourne's expansion. ("Call for kangaroos to be culled along Melbourne's urban fringe,”by Simon Lauder, ABC, 30 Nov 2015).
"There is another non-violent solution," she said. "It is a scandal that we have suffered through a succession of planning documents for Melbourne, without any allocating land for habitat with interconnecting continuous wildlife corridors that would enable safe passage for native animals. They have also failed to provide more than a tiny handful of animal bridges and underpasses at significant points on roads where wildlife often cross. Kangaroos, koalas, and other wildlife are increasingly road accident victims. As Melbourne expands to accommodate its human population growth program, suburban development pushes them out onto roads. This is planning negligence. "
AWPC says it has repeatedly engaged with councils in devising detailed plans for wildlife corridors. To date, however, no state government has cooperated with these plans, despite obligations to protect wildlife under the Fauna and Flora Guarantee Act.
"Instead, we have been repeatedly stone-walled. The result is the carnage Mr Temby suggests can only be avoided through culls. AWPC will be seeking a meeting with the Andrews State Government to negotiate for wildlife corridors instead of culling," said President Maryland Wilson.
Mr Thomson spoke of an imminent campaign to buy land on the Mornington Peninsula through crowd-funding. The aim is to create a private land reserve system for a wildlife corridor between national parks to sustain wildlife in the future. He says the matter is urgent as suburban development and a recent spate of farm-fencing are blocking the kangaroos' natural behaviour on the Peninsula.
Mr Thomson added, "It is ironic that some farmers are paying a lot of money for services that kangaroos would provide for free. For instance, vineyards spend much time and money keeping grass and weeds down between the vines. But, if they took down the fences and let the kangaroos in, the roos would not eat the vines, but they would keep the grass short."
CONTACT: Mr Craig Thomson, Wildlife Planning Officer, AWPC: 0474651292; Maryland Wilson, President, AWPC: 61359788570
Update: See new article, "AWPC Wildlife Planning Officer says, "Don't cull roos; Plan wildlife corridors!"" A wildlife “consultant” has called for a radical new plan to cull kangaroos along Melbourne’s urban fringe before there is any more housing development. What’s “radical” about this solution to wildlife? Due to lack of vision, foresight and planning, it means killing them!
This new “plan” is about caving into the whims of property developers, and the plans of our State government to blow out our urban fringe for more growth-gluttony and housing.
First published on Australian Wildlife Protection Council website here: http://awpc.org.au/kangaroos-must-be-culled-for-urban-sprawl/
Thanks to Melbourne’s obesity, urban sprawl keeps stretching out north, causing problems for residents and wildlife. There are more fences, road and houses, causing chaos and causing kangaroos to become trapped in factories, rooftops and school yards. Their habitat is being impinged upon and eaten away by infrastructure and choked by human population growth.
Instead of addressing the problem, and implementing any real plans for the city, the waist-line of Melbourne keeps expanding as 100,000 new people per year keep it engorged.
Wildlife Victoria has received about 6,500 emergency calls about kangaroos this year, double the number they received three years ago.
DELWP, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, is meant to administer the Wildlife Act, and enforce the protection of our native species, is also the State government department responsible for Planning! There are massive and blatant conflicts of interests here.
According to DELWP’s own website, they have control over our population growth! By 2051, there will be a projected 10 million people in Victoria, a “natural increase” of 1.7 million, and a whopping 2.8 million due to net migration.
Wildlife Victoria spokeswoman Amy Amato said “It’s definitely not an increase in the number of kangaroos in Melbourne….we’re just seeing the number of incidents in human conflict with kangaroos rising.” In fact, our government does not know how many kangaroos there are in Victoria.
(image: The True Cost of Sprawl)
Victoria’s Department of Environment has engaged independent wildlife management consultant Ian Temby to review the situation. His solution is to kill the kangaroos before development goes ahead, arguing kangaroos are being slowly culled by cars anyway! So, their deaths are inevitable, and shooters don’t kill will be finished off by cars. Then, the housing industry won’t be hampered by obstructed by native animals.
Author Ian Temby, in the past, recommended learning to live humanely with wildlife. Known to Wildlife Victoria members as a long time as wildlife advocate with over 30 years in the DSE.
He claimed that “action to resolve conflicts with wildlife does not have to be lethal. Exclusion, repellents, changing human practices and habitat modification are all examples of non-lethal actions”. And, “rather than killing wildlife, our real challenge is to develop and apply methods of problem resolution that are proactive, anticipating where problems may occur and taking action to prevent them from actually happening”.
Now, his solution is CULL, CULL, the easy and lazy way of removing the problem.
There are no interconnecting wildlife corridors in Victoria, so whatever “Planning” happens doesn’t include the fate of our native species. [Candobetter.net Ed.: See here for concerted attempts to create such corridors by the AWPC: /taxonomy/term/73.]
For too long our capitalistic economy has gorged on “growth”, and worshipped the real estate industry, caving into it’s whims for resources. Already our infrastructure is choked and overloaded, and congestion is impeding productivity. We are falling into an abyss of infrastructure deficit.
What values are we promoting and what benefits are there from our city’s explosive growth- except for property developers and real estate investors?
The high immigration that was beneficial in the 1950s, and 60s is now causing our cities to be over-crowded and overpopulated. Our governments are addicted to growth, and our economy is on thin ice if it depends on rising house prices and population growth. It’s admission of being bereft of ideas, innovation, and enlightenment. It’s lazy economics, to just turn up the immigration tap to boost our economy, and expect the public to finance the retro-fitting of our city, endure a crumbling housing market, and all the deprivations of perpetual growth imposed on us!
The lack of innovation and diversity in our economy means that there’s an over-reliance on housing and population growth. It’s a lethal and self-destructive Ponzi scheme, and will not only have a deadly impact on our wildlife, biodiversity and environment, but eventually cause impoverishment, deprivation, eroded living standards, congestion, and spiralling costs of living for human inhabitants.
Maryland Wilson, President of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council, announced today (June 30, 2015) that Queensland LNP Senator Barry O’Sullivan will have a singular focus when he spearheads an Australian government trade delegation to China to try to seal the deal on kangaroo meat exports. #kangaroo #exploitation. The Trans Pacific Partnership agreements, if they go through, would worsen the already terrible situation of many Australian native animals and could provoke species extinctions.
Calling to friends of wildlife, and drawing attention to the plight of kangaroos as particularly urgent, President Wilson said:
"This is a huge issue now.
We could lose our independence as a nation with global trade agreements
Kangaroos will be global 'asset', not just our native wildlife, protected as they are,
With more than 1.3 billion people in China, with an appetite for kangaroo meat, it's unsustainable. Nobody really knows how many kangaroos in Australia, and numbers have plummeted in NSW. They are hated because they cause "grazing pressure" (they eat grass!) and the government wants every blade for livestock - despite the drought over Queensland."
Donate to the AWPC to help Maryland's entirely volunteer non-profit organisation continue its great service to Australian wildlife. AWPC is a tiny organisation that punches above its weight, made up largely of hands-on activists. Download the AWPC Donation form.
5 June 2015 is World Environment Day, but you wouldn't know it in Australia as State and Federal Governments pave the way for inappropriate and highly environmentally damaging land-clearing. This week media reports have detailed the Federal Government's approval for significant clearing of Critically Endangered woodlands in the Hunter Valley and lack of oversight on potentially illegal broad-scale clearing in Cape York, permitted by the former Queensland Government in direct contravention of national environment law.
The Federal Environment Department has just given mining company Coal and Allied the green light to clear 535 hectares of White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland, a Critically Endangered ecological community listed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The community has been recognised as Critically Endangered since 2006, primarily due to a decline in geographic distribution, and since that time numerous developments have chipped away at what remains. Permitting a further 535 vital hectares to be cleared for a single project indicates the Government is loath to use its habitat protection powers effectively.
"This is a unique and incredibly important ecosystem that has been absolutely smashed by development. More than 93% of the woodlands have been cleared since European settlement, yet the Commonwealth has justified the destruction of a further 535 hectares by requiring a biodiversity offset management plan and vegetation clearance protocols - simply inappropriate measures for Critically Endangered habitats,” said Humane Society International (HSI) Senior Program Manager Evan Quartermain. "This decision goes directly against the Threatened Species Scientific Committee's conservation advice as well as the Recovery Plan prepared for the ecological community by the Department itself, both of which recognise that with around 5% of the woodland left, protecting what remains is the only chance of survival,” stated Mr Quartermain.
Similarly bad news has surfaced in Cape York, where clearing of 33,000 hectares of habitat for the buff-breasted button-quail (the only known Australian bird to have never been photographed in the wild) and at least 17 other threatened species listed under the EPBC Act was permitted in the dying days of the former Queensland Government. Any action that may significantly impact on an EPBC Act listed species requires Commonwealth referral, yet neither the Newman Government nor the pastoral company that owns the land in question did so.
"This is a private business being allowed to destroy core habitat for a range of legislatively protected Matters of National Environmental Significance for their own personal gain. That such major clearing was not referred to the Federal Government is a blatant disregard of procedure and works must be immediately halted and swift investigation and action undertaken. What is the point of legislation if the powers at be don't have the teeth or intent to enforce it? It's a mockery and embarrassment,” Mr Quartermain concluded.
Humane Society International, 5th June 2015
Philip Ingamells Victorian National Parks Association
Speaker Bob Mc Donald Naturalist
Joel Wright - Indigenous speaker on traditional Aboriginal fire management.
Michelle Thomas - well-known wildlife rescuer and carer from Animalia shelter
Maryland Wilson (President of AWPC) will lead a discussion and Action Plan from 3-4pm
How does forest-logging increase fire-risk and climate change?
Jill Redwood: Well, we've always thought this, but a study that's just come out from the ANU and Melbourne Uni [Lindenmayer, McCarthy, Taylor, "Non-linear effects of stand age on fire severity," see also "Code of destruction Lindenmayer deplores Victoria's future forest policy] shows that where the logging regrowth grows back after total clearfell (which is the only method used around here, even though they might give it a different name of 'seed tree', is pretty well clearfell back to bare-earth burn. And then what comes up is like ... It's converted to a pulpwood farm, basically. You don't get your forest back. What you get back is a tree-crop, and it's perfectly suited for the woodchip industry because they like the nice young white straight uniform predictable trees.
So, where we used to have age-diversity, species diversity, ferns - you know, the different stratas in the forest - you just get the one species coming back, thick as hairs on a cat's back.
As well as very thick regrowth, that's very thick and very flammable, they compete with each other for light, nutrient and water, so you also get a lot of them die off, which are then - it's just like creating a tinderbox. One, of the dead wood to carry the fire and to burn really well, and then, all this young, oil-filled eucalypt foliage. And it's just like a funeral pyre - especially when it's around towns and communities. It really goes up like a bomb. Whereas you get your natural forest and you get your different strata in the forest. You get your canopy from the old growth - really high - very hard for that to carry a crown fire, as in the young forests that carry crown fires. You get the mid-story, you get the tree-fern understory that creates this microclimate, where there's always dampness, there's moss on logs - and it's just very fire-proof. Natural forest is fire-proof and there are a lot of lightening strikes actually hitting those areas and they never go anywhere. But you get a lightening strike on a ridge-top, or a regrowth forest, and it just goes like a bomb! The whole landscape, the hillside, wherever they log, it's drying it out and creating a different forest that's far more flammable.
The government's 'planned burns' policy
[Following the 2009 Victorian bushfires, an inquiry came up with a policy for mandatory burning of 5% of Victoria's forests per annum - that's 100% in 20 years. See under "Land and fuel management", http://www.royalcommission.vic.gov.au/Assets/VBRC-Final-Report-Recommendations.pdf Recommendation 56: "The State fund and commit to implementing a long-term program of prescribed burning based on an annual rolling target of 5 per cent minimum of public land"]
The way I see what's happening with the government planned burns is it gives the community a false sense of security. They have to do something to look after people from big bad fires. It's actually climate change that's creating it, and the logging. Both of those together are a deadly combination.
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: According to some theories the logging is creating the climate change, certainly in the hinterlands. [Text insert reference in film after the interview to Gorshkov and Makarieva's Biotic Pump theory].
Jill RedwoodIt's a feedback loop that's just not going to end unless the government does something to say, 'Right, this is enough. Let's try to get it back to what it was. '
But what they're doing, as a 'solution', is saying, 'we need to burn to stop the burning'. What they're doing is taking out the natural fire-proofing of a forest. And that is all the little hoppers and scratchers and diggers, like the potoroos, the bandicoots, that turn over leaf litter. Lyrebirds. They can cover - turn over - about two and a half tons a year. Each lyrebird. So they're constantly making this compost out of the leaf-litter and twigs on the forest floor. The mosses, the funghi, the termites - all the insects! The moth-larvae that are actually evolved to eat dry gum leaves - not much else is. These are the things that, when they put a fire through, and say, 'Alright, we're safe now, it's all burnt!' They are destroying the very thing that can fire-proof a forest that's been working for millions of years.
[Leaf litter shown in film. It holds a lot of water, as well as nutrients and funghi, so is not flammable, but, as Jill quips, 'It's not flammable, but it's what the public are taught to fear'. If we leave the little animals in there, they will get rid of it; they'll turn it over and digest it and the funghi will eat through it. ]
So they're killing of the little animals, they're exposing them to predation by foxes. They're taking that layer out that shades the forest floor, that keeps the damp ness going. And, if anybody's ever made compost, they know you've got to keep moisture in it and you've got to have your little creepies and bacteria and everything working together to break down that leaf-litter and the twigs. And that's why the old growth forests won't burn. And up here, during the 2014 fires, we saw it roar through a lot of fairly dry open forest that's been logged. Soon as it hit Brown Mountain, it went out. They tried to burn it with - DEPI would try to burn [dog interrupts, barking] ... DEPI being the Department of Enviroment and Primary Industry. And, what they were doing is, not just - they weren't fighting the fire - they were just lighting more fire - and that's a whole other story. The way they managed these fires in [summer].
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: And their intention was to light a fire they could manage, which would mean that, by the time the wildfire got to it, it would run out of fuel? That's their theory?
Overtime and bonuses created through burning off
Jill Redwood: It also created a lot of reall good overtime and bonuses. But... anyway...
Sheila Newman, Interviewer:Well, that's a valid thing to comment on.
Jill Redwood: Oh God, it is!
Sheila Newman, Interviewer:Because it's not like ....
Jill Redwood: And we dare not because, oh my God, you're questioning these brave fire-fighters? Well, I didn't see any fire-fighters actually front a fire with some water. They were just lighting fires, all the time, so the boundary was getting bigger and bigger. And that... You know, the bushfire, probably would have been 'this big' but the way DEPI were managing it, the government fire-fighters, they just kept lighting fires to try and burn back into it, and then they'd escape and jump [indicates fire jumping over boundary] and they'd have to bulldoze and light another fire. And I'm sure about half the size of this fire was due to government initiated bushfires, in the hottest period, in the dry summer.
We had the big one up in Deddick. They didn't jump on that. That was one they could have jumped on immediately. That's the one that got out of control. And they were sort of waiting for it to come out, which, in the mean time it got bigger and bigger, until February the 9th, when it was so big they couldn't do anything about it and it just sort of took out half of Tubbit, Bonang, Goongarah... We were surrounded by fires and that February the 9th, it just burned out the top end of Goongarah and took out so much forest. It just - it was so intense, there wasn't a green thing, a living thing left after it went through. And this is just for miles and miles. To that extent. Somebody said, that they could have got in there, the rappelle crews could have got in, there was actually a way to get in there with four wheel drives. They could have done something about that, but they didn't!
Cienwen Hickey (local wildlife activist): They don't use a strike team anymore, do they, as they used to.
Jill Redwood: No. It's all too dangerous, but - so they just wait for it to come out and make the fires bigger and bigger and bigger. And we, our volunteer fire-brigade here, had to go out at night and put out fires that DEPI had lit the night before, and went back home. You know, they've got bank hours, like nine to five.
Cienwen Hickey (local wildlife activist): Well, they knock off at five o'clock.
Jill Redwood: They're not patrolling at night. They're not doing work on fires at night when they could, when it's cooler, when it's damp and the air's got moisture in it...
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: Is this in the middle of a bushfire they go home at night?
Jill Redwood: They go home at night, and they leave it up to us volunteers - our CFA (Country Fire Authority) to go and patrol at night, at two in the morning, putting their fires out that got away. And then they come back in the morning at nine o'clock and light them all up again for the heat of the day.
(Jill wanted it on record that SOME staff did good and that SOME very strategic and small-scale burning might have been useful to reduce the fire impact on private land before the main blow-up day, but the rest is rightful criticism.)
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: So you're saying that old growth forest ultimately went up? What about the argument though, that old growth forest doesn't usually burn easily and, as we remove it, we're increasing climate change? It seems to me that it would be better to have more old growth forest, less logging, to reduce the speed of climate change, even - and the risk of any forest fires.
Jill Redwood: That's logical! And that's what all the science is saying. But the government would prefer to keep the logging industry making that money, a few jobs - I think there's forty jobs involved in East Gippsland - but we're still destroying what has the ability to moderate our climate and that is forest. They're carbon capture and storage units - you know - the best in the world that we've got is our forests. They're knockign them down and creating these - you know - smoke, just ... ash landscapes with nothing there.
So the more that they log, the more that the climate is actually heating up, the less carbon there is stored in the forest, the less temperature moderation  there is over the landscape - and of course our bushfires are going to get much worse.
In the past, there has been - you know, lightening strikes - yes, South East Australia does get a lot of lightening strikes. Historically that's always been the case. Pre-European, pre-Aboriginal.
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: Yet there were very big forests.
Jill Redwood: They were very big forests and they had that structure where, you know, there are all these fire-breaks in the landscape. All the wet gullies, the south-facing slopes. The forest that had a lot of thick undergrowth. Where it wasn't thick undergrowth that stopped that stopped that heat and wind driving fires through, in some areas, just naturally it would open out and become dry sort of grassy understory forest. And that's what a lot of the early settlers described. But it wasn't due to burning. It was due to lack of burning. And that's what a lot of the science is now picking up. And we're [Sarcastically] just saying, 'Oh, no, the Aborigines used to burn so we've got to do the same to be safe!'
DEPI's 'Dangerous trees' policy
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: Coming up this way we've observed in the areas that have been really badly burned piles of fallen logs and tree-litter piled up - obviously by bulldozers and things.
Jill Redwood: What they are - and I've actually questioned this, and I've formally tried to get an answer - What they're doing now they have this 'dangerous trees' policy because all of these trees that are left standing along tracks are 'dangerous'. They might just fall on cars at any moment. So they have to go right along the tracks and cut down every tree that might possibly fall. And I've got photos of ones that are solid as a rock, not any rot in them, not leaning, and they've cut them down. And when they cut them down, of course, where you would have had a tree with a green leafy head and a trunk, you now have this pile of ... It's a tinder-box, waiting to burn, you know. And along the side of the roads. Like, hang on, weren't you trying to make the roads safer? And all they've done is bulldoze all of these trees and tree-heads up along the side of the road. So now, if there's another fire that comes through, they're just going to be this massive big bonfires.
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: How long has that been going on for, this business of cutting them down because they're 'dangerous'?
Jill Redwood: We just had that down here the year before ... yeah, 2013 they started doing that - down along Martin's Creek. In that area. So all of these habitat trees - the ones that are really important for habitat - feed trees for gliders, you know, the nectar producing trees, they're the best - the oldest ones are the best - cut them all down because they're 'dangerous'.
What are governments aiming for here?
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: Is there any idea - does anyone have any idea of what the governments - the successive governments - think they're doing with this area? Are they going to turn it into some plantation forest or, are they going to turn it into farmland? Or are they going to build appartments?
Jill Redwood: They're trying to turn it into plantations. That's what's been happening for the last forty years, it's conversion to plantations. But now the woodchip industry is starting to say, "Naw, we don't want those chips from South East Australia. Too far away. We'll get our woodchips from - you know - Vietnam - or somewhere else that's got the eucalypt plantations growing.
So now, DEPI, who's had this agenda to create this wonderful woodchip farm for the Asian woodchip market for forty years, it's starting to fall in a heap. So: 'God, we've got to keep ourselves relevant, somehow - I know! Fire economy! Yes!'
And they call it 'Red gold' now, and the people at Glenaladale ...
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: Fire economy?
Jill Redwood: Fire economy! You know, keep DEPI relevant?
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: So, how are they doing this? What does 'fire economy' mean?
Jill Redwood: Well, it keeps the people employed burning, cutting down trees, bulldozing tracks ...
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: Oh, to 'prevent' bushfires and trees falling on people?
Jill Redwood: And if there is a bushfire - 'You beauty! We've got a lot of, you know, extra income for this, and we could employ our mates on bulldozers at $3000 a day to push tracks and push trees over and - oh, I don't know - you know, it might not be any good, but we've got to keep 'em employed and -
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: You'd think they could employ a few of them as forest rangers, wouldn't you?
Jill Redwood: Oh! Putting in picnic tables and walking tracks maybe might be a better thing but, you know, a lot of these boys do love their matches. And, you know, you look at the profile of a pyromaniac and, my God, I reckon that a lot of them would be perfect for those boys in green overalls and driving around in [?] vehicles.
Rare huge trees protected in EEG court case since felled for revenge
Jill Redwood: (Filmed standing by a huge fallen tree among several lining a fire track) All the way along here to our Brown Mountain forests - which was the test case in this court case - they have cut down every big tree along the way! There is no reason for it, other than -.
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: So these were the trees your court case [which was successful] was defending largely?
Jill Redwood: Yes!
Sheila Newman, Interviewer: They've all been cut down?
Jill Redwood: Yes! It's retribution. That's all it is. It's just absolute senseless destruction of giant big old trees.
Scale of destruction
Jill Redwood: (Back in home). I actually did a comparison between what's happening in the Amazon and what's happening in East Gippsland. And, relative to the area that we've got, and how much is being taken out each year, as clear-fell logs - clear-fell areas - it's pretty much on a par with the Amazon. It's just like ... East Gippsland is no better and here we are saying, 'World's best practice! It all grows back. All renewable!' It's not. It's bullshit! They are destroying what is irreplacable. Irreplacable! We have six hundred year old trees. We radiocarbon dated the wood from near the center of the tree. Six hundred year old trees! And it's just turned into this smokey, ashen landscape, and it goes of to - you know - Asian woodchip factories. If it was anywhere else in the world, they would be valuing these forests as something so rare. It would be the antiques of the natural world. And people would have to be paying big money to come and experience and stand amongst these giants and just be awestruck. But no - paper cups - throwaway paper!
[End transcript from short version of Firebug Economy film ("Pause and review wildlife and fire conf").]
"Code of Destruction - A look at Victoria's future forest policy":
This film Recommends the creation of a "Great Forest National Park", where there would be no logging.
Prof. David Lindenmayer is one of Australia's foremost environmental experts. Over 30 years David has undertaken one of the most comprehensive scientific studies of a forest landscape anywhere in the world. With over 35 scientists and 2,500 volunteers they have painstakingly measured and tracked the Victorian central highlands. Now the state government who manages that forest refuses to reference their study as it presents a conclusion they are unwilling to hear. Without intention - all Victorians putting at risk their water security, biodiversity and the extinction of their fauna emblem - the endangered Leadbeaters Possum.
 Regarding the expression 'temperature moderation', this is a reference to more discussion in the longer version of this interview, covering the heat island effect and the cooling effect of forests, (particularly mature ones with big trees) which is noticable to anyone entering them. So, it is not just carbon storage, but the transpirational effects of forests (getting rid of heat and water, but also storing water - keeping the balance) and their shade that is important.
The Australian Wildlife Protection Council wrote on September 1, 2014 to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications: "We condemn the Abbott Government’s attacks on the Great Barrier Reef, other priceless environmental institutions and native wildlife across Australia. We are dismayed by their lack of environmental protection since [the Abbott Government's]coming to power."
We express our shock and disgust at the attitude of the Coalition Government for their failure to see how important our environment is to many of us. It provides us with clean air, water, food - the essential elements of life for all species on this planet. Barnaby Joyce, Christopher Pyne, Warren Trusss, Eddie Abetz, too many Coalition M.P.’s and Ministers, treat the environment with total contempt [and] disregard!
It was a bad start for the government when it scrapped our climate policies and agencies:
• Carbon tax/pricing, Climate Commission, Climate Change Authority, and attempts to end Energy Renewable Target.
• It is shocking to see federal laws handed to the states. In Victoria, the Environment department, Department of Sustainability and Environment merged primary industries (DEPI) slashing jobs Not only jobs have been lost, but valuable field guides that identify wetlands, rainforests and others were thrown into the rubbish. Federal powers handed to Victoria when state laws like the FFG Act have not been revised, updated since inception; parts of the act have never been used.
• East Gippsland took DSE to court to ensure threatened species got recovery plans. The FFG is working in reverse as species should be taken of threatened species list because they’ve been recovered; species that need to be put on the list aren't being added due to a lack of resources.
• Cuts to the community are disgraceful - Environmental Defenders Office, Landcare, and Caring for Country. Axing of the Biodiversity fund is a shock as it is replaced with nothing.
• Abbott governments’ disregard in undermining our nations compliance with the World Heritage Convention regarding the Great Barrier Reef and Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area.
• Finally we in AWPC are disappointed, even ashamed of our local MP, Environment Minister who sends out a Newsletter with photos of himself ‘having fun’ with locals while he always refers decisions of national environmental significance such as the Southern Brown Bandicoot in our electorate to someone else, as apparently there is a conflict of interest?
Minister Greg Hunt has been an enormous disappointment when appointed as Environment Minister, which, with it comes certain responsibilities to CARE FOR COUNTRY. He even called the local police when we demonstrated outside his office against something of concern to many of us. What an absolute disregard for democracy and for the environment.
Australian Wildlife Protection Council
Dear Minister Matthew Guy,
You are obviously gung ho for political advancement!
You appear to do anything to appease those with the loudest voices as well as all developers.
We ask you to please consider native animals which have no voice but ours.
NATIVE ANIMALS NEED YOUR HELP MINISTER GUY!
DO THE RIGHT THING BY THEM – REJECT FRANKSTON COUNCIL’s REQUEST
DO THE RIGHT THING FOR KOALAS especially !
"Planning" must encompass more considerations than just stretching urban boundaries
Mr Matthew Guy, Minister for Planning, Victoria
1 Spring Street Melbourne 3000
Re: resolution that was passed by the Frankston Council on 20 Jan ’14 that Council writes to the minister requesting authorisation to prepare and exhibit an amendment to the planning scheme covering the rezoning of 42 ha of green wedge land in Stotts Lane, Frankston South for residential subdivision.
The resolution was passed 5:4 on the vote of the Mayor.
The Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) Inc believes you should reject Frankston Council’s request:
Already Franston's Green Wedge nibble at
Frankston should not lose any more Green Wedge, after such huge loss to Peninsula Link, and recent rezoning for Peninsula Private hospital development. Development in this area will see the loss of land currently classified as Rural Conservation Zone which is covered by a Significant Landscape Overlay.
Habitat clearance is the greatest threat our wildlife faces today ; the land in question would further deplete what was a significant bio-link between the listed RAMSAR Seaford wetlands and the listed RAMSAR Westernport wetlands.
Native animals need habitat, or they die!
This land is an important habitat corridor for Koalas. Every spring male koalas migrate from Cranbourne Botanical gardens to mate with the female population that lives in Frankston South. Since Peninsula link opening there have been two male koalas killed on the freeway. If this vital link is lost the South Frankston Koala population will be locally extinct
There is continual loss of habitat in this area due to the new freeway, and little to no offsets in Frankston.
There is increased competition for habitat amongst wildlife, and more vulnerable species such as sugar gliders and woodland birds especially the the eastern yellow robin will also become locally extinct.
Local wildlife shelters are faced with a number of problems
An increase of wildlife that needs care - Less habitat to release rehabilitated wildlife
- We need to find more volunteers to help run our shelters - We need find more funds to rehabilitate and feed wildlife
- If we are unable to meet those needs we have to limit our services which obviously causes stress to both us and the community member we are unable to help.
Stotts Lane has strong conservation values that need preserving, and shouldn't be dug up for housing
The applicant has engaged BL&A to prepare a Flora and Fauna Assessment Report. This report recognises that the land contains areas of vegetation of high conservation and the area is of very high conservation significance.
-The Report states on page 10 that the property “displays good habitat connectivity”, indicating a connection between Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve and Frankston Natural Features Reserve via patches of remnant bushland. The report goes on to state on page 24 that
This "Planning" violates previous planning policies
The proposed change flies in the face of:
-The long standing bi-partisan support for protecting Melbourne's Green Wedges.
-The State and Local Planning Policies for protecting Melbourne’s Green Wedges.
-Plan Melbourne's initiative to establish a permanent metropolitan urban boundary.
-The strategy quoted in Planning Scheme Clause 11.04-5 - Melbourne Urban Growth:
Contain urban development within the established urban growth boundary. Any change to the urban growth boundary must only occur to reflect the needs demonstrated in the designated growth areas.
Protected land for wildlife and conservation is not an "anomaly"
In 2011 Frankston Council refused a request for the land to be treated as an ‘Anomaly’ in the Review of Urban Growth Boundary Anomalies Outside Growth Areas. An amendment to rezone the land to a residential zone was also refused by the then Minister for Planning in August 2004.
No strategic justification has been put forward for the proposal; instead it has been assessed on a purely ad hoc basis without taking into consideration the wider implications. . Regrettably, to date, Council has not undertaken a Green Wedge Management Plan that would provide guidance on the future management and planning for the Green Wedge.
Population is being "projected" but not land for native animals and vegetation
There is no need for additional residential land in the municipality because, as stated out in Council's Housing Strategy. Frankston's projected population can be accommodated within existing urban areas.
The proposal is opposed by the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Federal MPs Mr Bruce Billson and Mr Greg Hunt, and State MP Mr David Morris. We understand that the Member for Frankston, Mr Geoff Shaw, is also opposed to the proposal as is Mr Johan Scheffer the Member for Eastern Victoria Region.
The proposed would result in the urban sprawl extending down onto the Mornington Peninsula and would eliminate the break that separates the township of Baxter from the urban area of Frankston.
This is in direct conflict with the Draft Frankston Housing Strategy (para 1.2.1), which states that the “South East and Mornington Peninsula Green Wedges provide a limit to the region’s growth to the south and east.”
Approval of the application would mean the loss of pleasant, picturesque, rural properties that contain stands of mature, native trees that provide valuable habitat and vegetation that is classified as being of very high conservation significance. The importance of the scenic value of the area is recognised in the Planning Scheme by it being covered by a Significant Landscape Overlay.
Proper planning transcends ticking housing approvals and opportunities for developers
Approval of the application would create uncertainty and encourage more such opportunistic proposals. This was acknowledged in the officer report in the agenda for the meeting which stated:
Council and Officers have been contacted by representatives for other land holders outside the Urban Growth Boundary in regards to either their future plans with their land or enquiring of Council’s view to future urban rezonings.
An enquiry in the north of the City is suggesting rezoning 356 hectares to residential, centrally in the city 22 hectares to industrial use; and to the south 8.6 hectares to residential.
This proposal has no justification, is contrary to State and Local Planning Policies, would set a dangerous precedent and urge you to refuse to authorise the Council’s request to prepare and exhibit an amendment to the planning scheme.
The Green Wedge must be maintained to protect its conservation, recreation and agricultural values. Green Wedges have played an important part in making Melbourne the 'World Most Liveable City'. Frankston’s Green Wedge makes a substantial contribution to the mental and physical health of the community.
Current planning is ad hoc, destructive and opportunistic instead of being holistic
Current planning laws only take into account wildlife value or need for protection if it is deemed threatened, and even then that is always not enough to secure protection.
Do the Right thing please Minister Guy
Maryland Wilson, President Australian Wildlife Protection Council
As human overpopulation in Victoria Australia fuels new sprawling suburbs, kangaroos are being continually deprived of habitat and pushed out into roads. There is an ongoing pantomime to pretend that it is not the human population, but the kangaroo population that is making new impositions on the environment. Culls are called for and, not unexpectedly, country MPs are trying to win votes from the fringes by calling for a commercial kangaroo meat processing industry. Maryland Wilson, President of the Australian Wildlife Protection Counsel, has leapt into the breach to defend kangaroos. Among other things she has said that it is inappropriate for the Minister for Agriculture to make decisions affecting wildlife. She has also repeated her call for wildlife corridors.
Nationals MP Mr O'Brien has asked Minister Peter Walsh (Agriculture and Food Security) to consider a proposal to use kangaroo meat commercially from 'culls' in Victoria. Victoria is currently undergoing government engineered human population growth to such an extent that kangaroos are being pushed out of their habitats by new suburbs and onto new roads. Victorians often find this shocking and would protest so the government tries to get rid of the kangaroos with so-called humane culls before their dreadful plight becomes obvious to those moving into the new suburbs. The human population pressure is mostly caused by mass immigration, which now accounts for well over half of all population growth in Australia.
"This is 2013, not 1788," says AWPC's Maryland Wilson
On 23 February, Maryland Wilson, President of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council, said that Mr O'Brien was behaving as if it was 1788 (the year of Australia's settlement by the British) rather than 2013. She implied that in Victoria there is an attitude of "If it moves SHOOT it and if it doesn’t chop it down."
"This is 2013 Sir, not 1788 and we must establish interconnecting linking wildlife corridors for remaining native species to survive," said President Wilson.
She added that, "Alarmingly, no one knows how many kangaroos there are in Victoria- NO ONE!" And she asked, "Should that not be a starting point before [the Minister allowed or condoned] any industry or farmers to profit from their demise?"
She said, "Farmers must act responsibly, as must Councils/Shires like the South Grampians Shire who for years have been pushing this barrow [of commercial harvesting of kangaroos].
Kangaroos are not an agricultural product; they are wildlife with intrinsic value
She pointed to issues of cruelty and of gene pool depletion. She also warned that there was a "lack of meat hygiene as kangaroos are killed in the outback NOT abattoirs."
Finally, she asked why the Minister for Agriculture would be making such decisions when kangaroos are not an agricultural product. Her implication was, of course, that a department with responsibilities for wildlife should involved here.
The Greens are expected to oppose any move to lift commercial bans, with Victorian Leader Greg Barber stating that it wouldn't work in practice. "It's cruel, it's wasteful, and it wouldn't pass the food safety rules other farmers have to comply with," Mr Barber has said.
The Australian Wildlife Protection Council has taken unprecedented steps towards preparing a case for negligence against the Victorian Government and the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) for failing to protect Victorian Wildlife and failing to assign official 'Threatened Status' to species under threat. The Victorian Auditor General in 2009 warned that the Victorian government had failed to uphold their charter to fully implement the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 but the Government has since done nothing about this. There is at present no effective protection for wildlife in Victoria. The Department of Sustainability has declined into a kind of rubber stamp office-front for shooting licenses with an agenda mostly outsourced to corporate interests for massive urbanisation of the state.
Australian Wildlife Protection Council
September 16, 2012
A Case for Negligence by the Victorian Government and the Department of Sustainability and Environment, (DSE) for failing to protect Victorian wildlife. DSE fails to assign official "Threatened Status" to species under threat.
Former Executive Director Dr Ian Miles arranged for DSE Adrian Moorrees, Project Manager, Actions for Biodiversity Conservation (ABC), Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Division to demonstrate to AWPC the DSE Actions Biodiversity Conservation (ABC) Data Base system.
”DSE uses an inadequate Victoria-wide definition of ‘threatened’ which means that local populations can be extinguished without sounding the alarm so long as some numbers remain for the whole state; pockets where animals appear numerous, due to fragmented populations trapped in small areas, are not assigned official “threatened” status. Little effective tab is kept of numbers. More and more native species simply vanish!”
Sheila Newman Land- Use Planner and Environment Sociologist
The Victorian Government and DSE fail to uphold their charter to fully implement the Flora and Fauna (FFG) Act 1988. An important requirement under the FFG Act is the development of a ‘Flora and Fauna Strategy’ (Biodiversity Strategy). The former Government committed to renewing the Biodiversity Strategy and released a draft for public comment in June 2010. The Baillieu Government indicates that they have no plans to revive it.
The 2009 Auditor Generals’ Report revealed that “As a general rule the processes and measures available to conserve and protect flora and fauna have been abandoned by DSE because of their perceived complexity and difficulty of administering the provisions.” Lack of resources was cited as the reason for poor implementation of the FFG Act. As a result of this failure to uphold their charter, many of the legal measures to protect flora and fauna have never been implemented. The Auditor General’s Report was damming; the FFG Act no longer provides an effective framework for the protection of flora and fauna.
• DSE has not implemented 2009 recommendations made by the Victorian Auditor General
• DSE has failed to improve the ‘threatened species list
• The Victorian Government has failed to provide adequate resources to implement critical work.
• DSE has not published a compliance monitoring and enforcement policy
• DSE has not promoted transparency, accountability by identifying key information about
• DSE has not provided annual reports containing statements of implementation of flora and fauna conservation and management of their objectives.
• Victoria’s Biodiversity Strategy is significantly out of date.
• The Biodiversity Strategy was not approved before the change in Government and there is no set time frame for the strategies release and DSE have removed it from their web site.
• There is no indication that the Victoria Government is moving to adopt the existing draft or develop a new strategy.
Human population growth is causing environmental changes and coupled with climatic weather changes should make the implementation of the FFG Act a priority by any Victorian Government. Ignoring the significance of these events and failure By DSE and the present Victorian Government to take precautionary measures will result in the total destruction of our flora and fauna.
The Victorian Government and DSE are also guilty of negligence pertaining to the management and issuing of Authority to Control Wildlife Permits (ATCW). They have also shown a decided bias and are selective when nominating Committees set up for wildlife management. The Scientific Advisory Committee was established under Section 8 of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.
A new panel was appointed in March 2012 to oversee wildlife control and to assess applications to control wildlife which are of significant community interest. The panel consists of:
University of Melbourne - there are questions about ‘ethical practices’ within the zoology department
Bureau of Animal Welfare (DPI) - has a vested interest in domestic stock and little interest in wildlife
Zoos Victoria - the main objective of zoos is for captive breeding programs for endangered animals
RSPCA - has little interest in native animals with their emphasis being on domestic pets
There is no representation on this panel by independent persons or wildlife groups.
Pernicious (meaning destructive, very harmful) evasion can be applied to both examples used here.
The following Motion was moved at the Australian Wildlife Protection Council 2012 AGM:
(a) that the Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc 2012 AGM challenges the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and the Victorian Government for negligence regarding their compliance with the DSE Fact sheet 1 – Issuing of Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW)Permits. DSE is responsible for the management of Victorian wildlife and it is in this area that DSE has shown negligence in their statutory responsibility. Australian native animals belong to the Crown and the DSE has a Duty of Care to protect them and the habitat they need to survive. The DSE is bound by Rules and Regulations set by the Victorian Government, which is voted into power by the people and for the people. They are given a Mandate to manage State affairs on behalf of the people –
and I further move
(b) that the Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc challenges the DSE and the Victorian Government for failing to implement provisions of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 to protect wildlife. Concern about threatened waterbirds being shot by game shooters, leaving wounded, maimed unprotected threatened species, makes a mockery of the "guarantee".
Freedom of Information (FOI) obtained by the Victorian Greens Party DSE Authority to Control Wildlife Permits (ATCW) can be viewed at:
ATCW Permits Summary (Statewide) 2011
Species Permits Max No
Australia fur seal 2 110
Australian magpie 17 340
Australian magpie lark 3 22
Australian raven 75 2326
Australian shelduck 11 205
Australian white ibis 2 50
Black kite 2 40
Black swan 1 10
Black faced cuckoo-shrike 3 25
Black tailed native hen 6 170
Cape barren geese 2 302
Common brushtail possum 5 126
Common ringtail possum 1 5
Common wombat 134 1612
Crimsom Rosella 19 525
Dingo 1 10
Eastern brown snake 3 42
Eastern Grey Kangaroo 793 29152
Eastern Rosella 5 90
Emu 37 538
Galah 29 1275
Great cormorant 2 22
Grey butcherbird 2 30
Grey teal 3 140
Grey-headed flying fox 1 1000
Laughing Kookaburra 3 30
Little black cormorant 2 22
Little Corella 37 2457
Little Pied cormorant 2 22
Little Raven 7 195
Long billed corella 15 1160
Mallee Ringneck 3 15
Maned duck 94 3393
Masked lapwing 7 185
Musk Lorrikeet 39 2430
Noisy Friarbird 12 365
Pacific Black Duck 8 358
Pacific Heron 1 2
Pied Carrawong 22 640
Purple Swamphen 3 25
Rainbow Lorrikeet 20 910
Red Wattlebird 10 295
Red necked Wallaby 13 213
Satin Bowerbird 5 85
Silver Gull 38 10140
Silver Eye 13 380
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo 28 1098
Swamp Wallaby 128 2239
Tiger Snake 1 10
Welcome Swallow 2 11
Western Grey Kangaroo 56 1162
Yellow-tailed black-cockatoo 1 30
Background What is an ATCW Permit? An ATCW is a permit issued by DSE which allows the killing of native animals.
• Who can obtain an ATCW?
• Anyone can obtain an ATCW.
• What cost is involved to an applicant for an ATCW?
• There is absolutely no cost to the applicant but the cost to the Victorian tax payer is approximately $275 per application.
• If this cost were applied to each application it would drastically cut the number of ATCW’s issued.
What DSE say in their ‘Managing Wildlife’ – Fact sheet 1
A landowner or manager identifies a conflict with wildlife on their land which cannot be resolved by non- lethal techniques.
DSE do not give any education to landholder with regard to non-lethal methods unless a landowner specifically asks for help. Education about wildlife should be a priority with DSE and it is not.
The applicant completes the form by specifying the wildlife species causing the problem, number of individuals involved, non-lethal methods used, the proposed control method (scare only or destroy) and submits the application to DSE.
DSE take the word of landholders about the number of animals causing problems. Landholders are not required to validate either numbers of problem animals or the perceived damage.
In most cases, a DSE Officer inspects the property to determine the validity of the application.
In most cases this does not occur. By their own admission DSE do not have enough Officers to carry out inspections to validate claims made by landholders or undertake any follow-up monitoring. When a DSE Officer does go to a property to make an inspection, there is no requirement that numbers of animals sighted be validated by either photographs or video. In the case of macropods, when a DSE Officer sights and counts the number of ‘pest animals’ the number counted will be more than doubled as it is presumed that if they see 100, there will be 250 in the area, because there are those which they can’t see hiding in woodland.
How are ATCW applications assessed?
All ATCW applications are considered on a case by case basis and generally involve an on-ground inspection of the problem (unless the issuing Officer has firsthand knowledge of the property)
On ground inspections are extremely rare due to the lack of DSE Officers available to undertake inspections. Firsthand knowledge usually means a permit has been issued before but no inspection is carried out to confirm that the problem remains.
ATCW’s are only issued where there is a demonstrable need to control numbers and following consideration of: Severity of the problem, other measures available to control the problem, past management of the problem.
The ATCW system provides a structured and controlled way of responding to problems in a humane and sustainable manner. Without this system, it is likely that people experiencing damage would take matters into their own hands.
The ACTW system does not provide a structured and controlled way of responding to perceived problems and the very act of killing animals is neither ethical nor humane.
How is animal welfare insured?
All authorisations include strict conditions to ensure that animals are controlled in a humane manner. An ATCW does not confer any right to use poison and does not absolve the holder of any legal obligation under any other legislation, including the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.
The strict conditions mentioned here consist of the type of gun which is to be used, the type of bullet and a diagram of where a shot should be placed in the case of Macropods and Wombats.
Animals which are not cleanly shot and are injured are not chased up by the landholder or the agent and put out of their misery; they are left to die agonising deaths which sometimes takes days. There is no ‘Prevention of Cruelty’.
DSE do not have any methods in place where records are kept of how many animals were actually killed, how many were injured and not found. There is no requirement by DSE for the holder of an ATCW to report these figures which means the permit holder could kill less than the permit allows or more likely, many more than the permit allows. It could be a bottomless pit.
There is also no requirement in the case of Macropods and Wombats to find any young at foot and no requirement for any in-pouch young to be humanly killed.
DSE do not have any system in place by which they test the competency of the person who is to do the shooting. The only requirement when applying for an ATCW is a current gun license number so anyone with a current license can shoot wildlife no matter how inexperienced.
Are ATCW’s Monitored?
DSE staff randomly inspects a number of ATCW’s each year.
Destruction of protected wildlife without an appropriate authorisation, or breaching the conditions of an ATCW is a serious offence and will most likely result in prosecution. There are penalties of more than $5,000 for illegally destroying protected wildlife and or up to 6 months imprisonment.
Given the lack of DSE Officers, it is reasonable to conclude that ‘random inspections’ are not carried out and there is no available evidence that any of the mentioned penalties have ever been applied.
It is also interesting to note that DSE does not have a central electronic document management system that allows for searches of ATCW’s when a request is made under Freedom of Information. There are only two DSE Officers with knowledge and understanding of the documents whereabouts who are able to assist the FOI unit. It would appear that all documents relating to the issuing of ATCW’s are kept at the regional office where they were issued. This appears to indicate, that in the eyes of DSE, the killing of Victorian wildlife is not important enough to keep centralised records.
Areas where negligence of duty are occurring
• DSE by their own admission do not have enough Officers to undertake all their duties which are outlined in their ‘Fact Sheet 1 – Authority To Control Wildlife’
• There is no system in place to prevent cruelty to animals killed under an ATCW.
• There is no system in place by which counting of ‘pest animals’ can be validated.
• There is no system in place which requires the holder of an ATCW to report and validate the number of animals killed.
• There is no system in place where the firearm competency of the applicant is tested.
• If DSE cannot comply with their own regulations with regard to the issuing of ATCW’s then they should cease issuing them until such time as they can competently oversee, monitor, validate and justify the issuing of these permits.
Parliament of Victoria
Parliament makes laws and holds the Government to account for its policies, actions and spending. Among the functions of the Parliament are;
• Representing the people
• Holding the Government to account for its policies and actions
Under the Victorian Constitution (Parliamentary Reform) Act 2003 Act number 2/2003 Part 2 – Amendment of the Constitution Act 1975
Page 12 – 16A ‘the principal of government mandate’
(b) The Government’s general mandate – to govern for and behalf of the people of Victoria
Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) Overview:
DSE believes they assist in delivering the governments vision to position Victoria as a world leader in sustainability; the department employs 2,700 staff, working in 90 different locations across the state, with annual funding of around $1 billion.
Department of Sustainability and Environment Liability in Negligence Mark Aronson November 2009
According to ‘Public Administration Act 2004
Government activities are usually judged by the ‘ordinary’ law of negligence, and one can often find good reasons for the exceptions. It is submitted, however, that it is never a good reason to deny a duty of care simply because the defendant is the Government, or because it is a statutory authority, or because it has statutory powers or statutory duties.
Perhaps, therefore a better approach would be to stop asking what special rules should apply to Government or even to Governmental actions. It might be better to focus more directly on the judicial role in a negligence case and ask what factors might be considered too difficult for the courts or inappropriate for their resolution according to a negligence standard, regardless of whether the defendant is a Government body or its action a Governmental function...it is difficult to understand what possessed the parliaments to grant Government entities generic permissions to be careless, or careless to a degree not permissible to their private sector analogues.
Ref. Government Liabilities in Negligence – Mark Aronson November 2009 ‘Public Administration Act 2004
7 Public sector values
(ii) providing high quality services to the Victorian community; and
(iii) identifying and promoting best practice;
(v) striving to earn and sustain public trust of a high level;
(ii) provides effective, efficient and integrated service delivery;
(iii) is accountable for its performance.
Public Administration Act 2004 – Section 7
Public sector values
(1) The following are some of the public sector values –
(a) Responsiveness – public officials should demonstrate responsiveness by -
(ii) providing high quality services to the Victorian Community; and
(iii) identifying and promoting best practice;
(b) integrity – public officials should demonstrate integrity by -
(v) striving to earn and sustain public trust at a high level
Failures of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988
The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (the Act) is the primary Victorian legislation providing for conservation of threatened species and ecological communities. Since the Act was passed in 1988, 653 plant and animal species, communities and threatening processes have been listed.
The primary aim of the FFG Act is to guarantee that all taxa of Victoria’s flora and fauna can survive, flourish and retain their potential for evolutionary development in the wild, and to ensure that the genetic diversity of flora and fauna is maintained.
The full range of ‘management processes’ and ‘conservation and control measures’ available in the Act has not been used. Various management processes and conservation and control measures available to conserve and protect flora and fauna are not being used, largely because of their perceived complexity and the difficulty of administering these provisions.
The gap between listed items and items with action statements continues to widen.
The lack of baseline data and outcome or output performance measures means it is not possible to conclude whether the Act has achieved its primary objectives.
The available data, which is patchy, indicates that it has not.
Administration of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 Recommendations by the Attorney General – 2009
The department should:
-review the internal timeframes it sets for listing, against the resources it applies and the processes it adopts, to confirm they are realistic
The only critical habitat determination made was subsequently revoked at the time of his report; and no interim conservation orders have been issued.
Action statements are the primary tools in the Act being used to protect and conserve threatened flora and fauna. However, the effort directed to listing threatened species and processes has not been matched by effort to develop action statements, to monitor the implementation of actions, or assess their effectiveness.
The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act requires Action Statements to be completed for each listing. An Action Statement sets out management prescriptions to protect endangered species. An Action Statement must be completed 'as soon as possible' after listing.
-continue to build its knowledge-base on threatened species, causes of their decline and how best to mitigate threats to them; and expedite the transfer of information held on manual files to the ABC system formalise its collaboration on conservation activity with the Federal Government and seek a joint agreement to eliminate duplication in the listing process (Recommendation 4.1).
The department should:
-assess the resources it applies to developing, monitoring and reviewing action statements and establish a prioritised action plan to address the backlog of listed items with no action statements
Proper utilization of the conservation measures available in the present FFG Act would make a real difference to biodiversity conservation in Victoria.
The action statements must set out what has been done to conserve and manage that taxon or community or process and what is intended to be done and may include information on what needs to be done.
The failure to complete Action Statements renders the RFA (Regional Forest Agreement) Reserve System inadequate for the protection of endangered species due to lack of information and management strategies.
The CAR (Comprehensive Adequate Representative) reserve system on paper is meant to protect all biodiversity values in the Otways from logging practices based on best scientific information. However if the impact logging has on other forest values is not done then decreased levels of protection are what occur. 
An analysis by lawyers at the Environment Defenders Office (EDO) found that of 599 threatened plant and animal species listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act, only 270 have an action statement to manage their conservation as legally required.
Brendan Sydes, Chief Executive Officer and lawyer at the EDO found that Action Statements have still not been prepared for 374 of the 675 species, communities and processes listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act, despite the clear legal obligation to do so. In the past year, only one draft statement has been released. “At this rate, it will take the Government decades to fulfil their obligations,” said Mr Sydes. 
-review the efficacy of conservation and protection tools available under the Act
Imposition of yet another environmental impact assessment option, such as the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, through the state significant planning process adds to the confusion and complexity, and should be resisted. In the view of the EDO, the lack of political and Departmental will to fully implement and enforce the FFG Act, combined with a lack of resources provided to DSE for implementation of the Act has resulted in its weak implementation. 
The Native forest timber industry is exempt from complying with legislation which is in place to protect flora species listed in the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.
The existence of this Order for exemption is an admission that logging practices in State Forest threaten and destroy listed flora in the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.
East Gippsland is now a refuge for many of Eastern Victoria’s rare and threatened forest species. To be responsible and responsive about reversing the decline in number and populations of threatened species, the zoning system must now strongly favour protection of their remaining habitat.
Under the FFG Act, action statements are required to set out "what has to be done to conserve and manage (a threatened) taxon or community." The action statements contain short-term, interim, objectives and actions as well as longer term objectives and actions to ensure the species return to a secure conservation status. To the extent that re-zoning will result in the longer term actions and objectives of the action statements for the relevant species not being implemented and achieved, the re-zoning could result in a failure to meet legal obligations that arise under the FFG Act.
For the Powerful Owl, the long term objective of the FFG action statement is:
“...to increase population numbers in potentially suitable areas, where owls are now scarce by maintaining and restoring habitat for species across all land tenures to return it to a secure conservation status in the wild.”
Changes to the zoning are inconsistent with the long term objective of this statement. 
The Wildlife Act and the FFG Act should be at least partially amalgamated so that the FFG Act includes prohibitions on taking or destroying all listed flora and fauna.
Victoria’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 has objectives to ensure “Victoria’s native flora and fauna can survive, flourish, and retain their potential for evolutionary development”. Now the integrity of this Act is under threat. Perversely DSE’s Code of Practice argues that deliberate burning of bushland and forest habitat will help Victoria’s native flora and fauna to survive, flourish, and retain their potential for evolutionary development. No document exists to zoologically prove that native fauna will suffer such negative consequences if it does not have a bushfire range through its habitat. As a result, the Code of Practice implies that bushfire is ok for all Victorian bushland and forests – DSE conveniently convinces itself that the urgent moral imperative for DSE to suppress bushfires is extinguished. So now it lights more fires than it puts out. The ability for forest fauna to recover is therefore being hampered by further prescribed burning, and recovery is also hampered by reduced fecundity caused by a decade of drought, and for the owls, low prey population densities.’ 
-assess whether the listing process is the most effective and efficient means of protecting species and communities
The Spot-Tailed Quoll is now classified as 'Vulnerable' under the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act 1995, and has recently been reclassified to 'Endangered' under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act. When the Quoll was first listed for protection under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (nomination 146), logging practices that cause habitat fragmentation were cited as a major threat.
The first Tiger Quoll Action Statement has no prescriptions to protect Quolls from logging practices despite the primary Quoll habitat being within forest available for logging. The failure to recognise the potential for forestry operations in State Forest to create fragmentation is a serious issue.
The deliberate inaction and disregard of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act by the government, coupled with an assumption that no one would ever have the funds to take them to court, proved to be not enough to protect the historical over-logging operations of the hooligan industry. 
Offences for the protection of fauna – there are no provisions for the protection of listed fauna. Offences in relation to fauna are contained in a separate piece of legislation, namely, the Wildlife Act 1975 (Vic). 
The offences in the FFG Act should apply to all listed species, not just flora and fish. The defence available to owners and lessees of private land should be removed. The FFG Act should also prohibit the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of habitat of listed species. Or at the very least, the FFG Act should prohibit the destruction of the "residence" of a listed species (e.g. the hollow, nest, or other dwelling place), similar to the new Canadian legislation, the Species At Risk Act 2002.
Currently there are exemptions under the FFG Act for logging, in the form of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (Forest Produce Harvesting) Order 1988. These exemptions should be removed. 
Sambar Deer are confusingly listed as 'environmentally threatening' under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act, yet protected as a game species under the Wildlife Act. That makes no sense, and has led to gross inaction on a rapidly escalating problem. 
A number of species listed under Victoria’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (FFG Act) and browsed by Sambar were recognised by Victoria’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC 2007) as threatened by Sambar.
The Mountain Ash forests of the Central Highlands are home to several threatened and endangered species, for example, the endangered Leadbeater’s Possum, which is Victoria’s faunal emblem. Endemic to the Yarra tributaries, the population of the Leadbeater’s Possum is currently in decline as a result of inadequate habitat.
T he protective provisions of the FFG Act are excluded where logging is conducted in areas containing flora listed as threatened under the FFG Act. The Flora and Fauna Guarantee (Forest Produce Harvesting) Order 1998 authorises the taking of protected flora from State forests, where such taking is the result of logging. However, a similar exclusion in areas of threatened
Fauna does not exist. Therefore, the protection afforded by the FFG Act remains intact and applies to logging operations conducted in the threatened species habitat in the Yarra tributaries. 
Logging in habitat areas must be listed as a potentially threatening process under The Act.
Logging management must be reviewed in order to develop sustainable rates of logging, if logging is to continue. (ibid)
VicForests won on their contest that they can log FFG recognised habitat for the endangered Leadbeater's Possum - Victoria's faunal emblem. This has meant the survival of the species cannot be 'guaranteed' under the FFG Act. 
The proposed variation to the Code of Practice for Timber Production 2007 will allow the Secretary of the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) to override a Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement (Action Statement) for any given forest coupe. In other words, it empowers the Secretary to clear threatened species habitat that would otherwise have been protected.
This effectively takes the only readily enforceable part of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Vic) (FFG Act) and allows the Secretary to make it unenforceable. 
-develop a suite of output efficiency and outcome effectiveness measures to monitor and assess its conservation efforts (Recommendation 5.1).
The impacts of climate change, fire, weed and feral animals and logging, coupled with changing demographics and community attitudes to forest management, all point to the need for a major, independent assessment and overhaul of current logging arrangements.
(Australian Conservation Foundation - East Gippsland)
DSE has provided no evidence to suggest that any comprehensive surveys have taken place to ensure that the species are being adequately monitored and protected as per legislative requirements in their action statements and the FFG Act.
In June of this year, 10 of the 11 staff who make up the south-west biodiversity team will not have their contracts renewed, with similar cuts expected in other regions of the State. Many species of flora and fauna in south-west Victoria are on the brink of extinction and require urgent proactive management. The government’s dismissal of threatened species officers will ensure that next to nothing is being done to save these species, thus totally ignoring its legal requirements under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. 
The implications of this move are alarming. Less DSE officers and staff will further compromise the effectiveness of the enormous and important task of protection biodiversity.
Urban sprawl is eating into natural areas and green wedges, and impacting on some of the most endangered habitats and species in Victoria. A significant population of the Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus obesulus), a nationally threatened species, still persists in south-eastern Melbourne in the cities of Casey and Cardinia. The Southern Brown Bandicoot is listed as ‘endangered’ under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. In Victoria, Southern Brown Bandicoots are listed as ‘threatened’ under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act. 
About 5000ha of Victoria's last remaining grassland habitats will be cleared in the growth corridors, approximately 2600ha of grassland will be retained in the urban growth areas and the rest will be offset into two large 15,000ha grassland reserves outside the growth areas.
In a world of finite resources with unchecked economic and population growth, some form of overshoot and collapse is inevitable.
Victoria could bear the brunt of a climate change front that would see almost a third of animal species wiped out in less than 60 years.
By 2070, Victoria could be rendered unrecognisable as the continent heats up and rainfall patterns change, according to a drastic new report by the CSIRO. Victorian animal species already threatened by climate change include the mountain pygmy possum, the helmeted honeyeater, and pink-tailed legless lizard.
One of the report's authors, Dr Michael Dunlop said ecosystems such as the eucalyptus forests to Melbourne's north could disappear and snowfall in Victoria's alpine regions become more sparse, and the Mallee become increasingly thirsty. It's easy to blame climate change as if it were indistinct from human actions, and with loss and degradation of habitats, compromising management of flora and fauna, and loosening policies that protect native animals, will likely cause their demise. 
Of the 91 species of non-marine mammals known to have inhabited Victoria since European settlement, 19 are now extinct in the state, and five of these are now totally extinct. Many other species survive with much diminished populations. For example, the native grassland complexes of lowland Victoria are now among the most endangered ecological communities in Australia, there being less than 2% left of the pre-1750 area of thousands of square kilometres. 
While there is legislation to protect native vegetation, or their offsets, it's assumed that wildlife will adapt to smaller, degraded and diminishing habitats.
State of the Environment 2011 (SoE 2011)
Independent report to the Australian Government Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Human population growth is a potential cause of environmental change worldwide, including Australia, even without considering the impact of changes on living standards or resource use per capita. The largest factor influencing population growth over the past decade has been net overseas migration rather than natural increase, although less so than over previous decades. Direct impact are the extension of the urban growth boundary, land clearing for agriculture, feral animals, proposed invasion of green wedges for developments – and also in national parks.
18 species are listed as extinct
The Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna lists 41 extant species compared with 34 listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. 
The perception that kangaroos are a renewable resource, coupled with the labelling of these native animals as pests, has resulted in the largest slaughter of land-based wildlife on the planet.
In the past 20 years, 90 million kangaroos and wallabies have been lawfully killed for commercial purposes. Kangaroos are often found with missing limbs or jaws or suffering from gaping wounds due to the difficulty of the shot. The writer concludes:”It is irresponsible to commercialise the hunting of kangaroos, given these serious concerns of contamination and animal cruelty”.
Although kangaroo and wallabies are not considered endangered or threatened, there is a moral dimension of protecting wildlife from profits, and being cruelly plundered. All wildlife should be protected from commercial activities.
( Otway Ranges Environmental Network – West RFA reserve system
(The Age – Threatened species still missing out May 9 2012)
(Report finds Victorian Government ignoring key environmental laws- EDO online http://www.edovic.org.au/media-release/report-finds-victorian-government-ignoring-key-environmental-laws 5 July 2012)
( VCEC Inquiry into Victoria’s Regulatory Framework Issues Paper prepared by
Environment Defenders Office (Victoria) Ltd 24 September 2010)
(Otway Ranges environment Network – The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act )http://www.oren.org.au/issues/forestmanag/ffgact.htm
(Australian Conservation Foundation Environment East Gippsland - Gippsland Environment Group - The Wilderness Society Victoria - Victorian National Parks Association Submission to East Gippsland Forest Management Zone Amendments September 2010 )
(The Habitat Advocate A HABITAT CONSERVATION WEBSITE ‘State Arson’, ‘State Logging’ wiping out owls
( Environment East Gippsland - Baillieu to protect loggers above threatened species
( REVIEW OF THE FLORA AND FAUNA GUARANTEE ACT 1988 (VIC) Lawyers for Forests Nov 2002)
( Victorian National Parks Association – Feral horses and deer in the Alps)
( LOGGING IN MELBOURNE’S WATER CATCHMENTS: the yarra tributaries: HANNAH NICHOLS Monash University Victorian Parliamentary Internship Report June 2008)
( EDO - EDO Briefing Paper Forestry Code changes endanger threatened species 30 Nov 2011)
( The backwards spiral continues - Baillieu Government axes threatened species officers http://www.iffa.org.au/backwards-spiral-continues-baillieu-government-axes-threatened-species-officersIndigenous Flora and Fauna Association)
 VPNA: Submission guide - threatened species and urban sprawl
 SOE report 2011- http://www.environment.gov.au/soe/2011/report/biodiversity/2-4-plant-and-animal-species.html
Victoria's cull plan bad for health: roos and ours- http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/victorias-cull-plan-bad-for-health-roos-and-ours-20120918-263lq.html#ixzz26oBkQDkf
Respectfully Submitted by the Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc
September 24, 2012
Case of DSE Negligence compiled by Members of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc:
Maryland Wilson - President
Vivienne Ortega - Vice President
Ciewen (Val) Hickey - Research
Rheya Linden - Research
Sheila Newman - Sociological Land Use Planner
Dingoes on Fraser Island, Australia are dying of starvation, with sand and grass in their stomachs. One woman tried to alert the world to this and was sentenced and fined for her trouble. On 25th of August 2012 Jennifer Parkhusrt received a national award from the Australian Wildlife Protection Council in recognition of outstanding contributions to the preservation and protection of Australian native Wildlife. What a contrast to the treatment she received from the Queensland government!
(Jennifer Parkhurst's website. More information about donations at end of this article.)
Dingoes on Fraser Island are protected because of their purity. This may be, at first sight an ideal situation and would find acceptance by most people and dog- or specifically dingo lovers. As for the tourist trade it has boosted the numbers of tourists to the island who wanted to have a dingo experience. From the outside it looked very good and only very committed people objectively examined how these beautiful creatures are actually managed.
One of these people is Jennifer Parkhurst and I refer to her as the Dingo Lady who has lived on Fraser Island for seven Years. She loves and adores dingoes and has observed them throughout the island. She scrutinized their behavior and took hundreds of photos of them. Her entire life was committed to them.
Frazer Island dingo pups dying of starvation, eating sand and grass
To her horror she discovered that most of the dingoes were starving and only ten percent of pups survived to adulthood. Stomachs examined of dead pups contained only grass and sand. This is partly the result of the shooting of their parents while they are desperately searching for food along the beach where tourists, who do not know how to behave, make reports of “dangerous” dingoes. But it is not only the pups that are starving. Her photos show adults with all their ribs clearly visible. When the alpha female goes looking for food and returns, her pups run eagerly towards her only to realize that she did not find food for them. Then, they scratch around in the soil to possibly find a grub or they chew on bark of woody plants like rabbits do in drought situations.
There is no game to hunt for dingoes on this island. They have become desperate scavengers and beach combers.
To make matters worse, large areas are unnecessarily burnt, reducing their food source and shelter even further. If one would examine the food remains found in their droppings the way it is done regularly in food habit studies on the mainland, it would surely expose embarrassing results. Often dingoes are ear-tagged and radio-collared unnecessarily as if they were criminals in order to follow their movements on this restricted island. Culling dingoes, especially adults, has serious implications for their family structure and learning, resulting in subsequent misbehavior and breeding problems. If this maltreatment of dogs in refuge and dog shelters occurred, the owners of these shelters would certainly be heavily fined and their shelters closed. What then is the difference on Fraser Island?
What is it about dingoes and women that bothers Australian governments so?
And now back to a REPEAT of the savage miss-handling of the Azaria Chamberlain Case. The dingo lady, who noticed the many starving dingoes struggling to survive, gave some poor animals a few pieces of coconut. For this she was convicted and fined $40.000 as well as sentenced to a 9 month jail term suspended for three years and has now a criminal record! She could just not control her distressed feelings for these ailing animals. The “stone-walling” of her defense and the brutality of the prosecution resulted in her inability to work and she lives now on a disability pension while she still has to pay off her fine. You can make up your own mind as to what the government is trying to hide and why they try to silence the Dingo Lady.
Dingoes were brought to this island by the Aborigines where they became dependent on the Aborigines to compensate them for the dingo’s lack of prey species. In recent years some exotic, large animals were introduced to the island which benefited the dingoes. The Forestry workers wormed and fed the dingoes, and before the island was heritage listed, rangers fed them. Fishermen were also allowed to give the dingoes their offal. But now, all these extra food sources have been removed and there is now no real hunting opportunity left for them.
Please ask for food supplements for the dingoes
I would implore people to write to their local MP’s or the federal minister for the environment, and ask that random food drops be introduced to Fraser Island. I would also ask that people request a complete moratorium on all culling of dingoes. While Fraser Island is in Queensland, and seems far away from us down here in Victoria, it is a Heritage Listed Icon of Australia and belongs to us all. One day you might like to take your children there to show them a world-famous dingo. Without action this may soon be impossible.
I was fortunate to be present when on the 25th of August 2012 the dingo Lady, Jennifer Parkhurst, received a national award from the Australian Wildlife Protection Council in recognition of outstanding contributions to the preservation and protection of Australian native Wildlife. What a contrast to the treatment she received from the Queensland government!
Hans Brunner (M. App. Sc.)
Australian Story featured Jennifer Parkhurst's horrible experiences with the law and her attempts to represent dingoes. You can see the program here: http://www.abc.net.au/austory/specials/dogsofwar/default.htm or just click on the picture at the top of this article.
Donations to help Jennifer pay her fine can be sent either to SFID or to your local Magistrates court. Payee is ‘State Penalties Enforcement Registry’ and her Party ID is: 62883053. Please be sure to get a receipt, and she asks if you would be so kind as to post her a copy of the receipt for her records, she would be most grateful.
Mail can be sent to Jennifer C/O SFID: 50 Old Maryborough Rd Pialba Qld 4655
The magistrate who convicted and so severely punished Jennifer Parkhurst with a suspended sentence and a $40,000 fine was Magistrate John Smith in a case at Maryborough Magistrates Court. Adam Randall , who was Jennifer's partner at the time and fed the Dingos with her was fined only $2500.
Hans Brunner is one of many scientists and other people who have tried to stand up for the Fraser Island dingoes. Australian Story gives others. Another example is:
Dr. Alan Wilton (1953-2011) Prominent Australian Geneticist, Assoc. Professor of the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of NSW. Dr. Wilton devoted much of his academic life in studying the ancestry and significance of the dingo in Australia. http://savefraserislanddingoes.com/
Check out Dr Earnest Healey's Dingo Care Network here: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~dingo/ffg.htm
75% of Victorians think that shooting of native water birds should be banned. 91% of people living in Melbourne don't want shooting and 77% in the country agree. The Australian Wildlife Protection Council believe that the Department of Primary Industries desire to normalise game hunting in Victoria is motivated by short term economics (monetary gain through shooting licenses and permits), not public opinion, animal welfare, or any conservation efforts. The Australia Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) opposes any ‘use’ of wildlife, particularly lethal use. Native animals need to be protected in Victoria, with no exceptions.
Submissions are due by 5pm Monday 20 August 2012: [email protected]. Read more the "Wildlife (Game) Regulations 2012 Regulatory Impact Statement Game hunting in Victoria"at http://tinyurl.com/9vbdmqp. With so little time, readers might consider simply sending in a copy of this article and saying that they endorse it.
Only a small but powerful minority want hunting in Victoria
In "What is the Issue/Problem to be addressed," in the Wildlife Regulations consultation on the Department of Primary Industry, it is asserted that
"Sustainable use of wildlife populations is consistent with contemporary conservation management principles and community values, and is sanctioned by international conservation treaties and conventions."
We dispute this generalization, and your contention that “community values” endorse game hunting. We contend that you are only speaking for a small, but powerful, minority of Victorians.
75% of Victorians think that shooting of native water birds should be banned
A large majority of Victorians (75%) think shooting of native water birds for recreational purposes should be banned in Victoria. Only 20% think it should not be banned; 5% are undecided, a survey conducted by Roy Morgan Research 2007 found.
Those living in Melbourne (91%) were more likely than those in country areas to think the shooting of native water birds should be banned, but even in country areas an overwhelming majority (77%) think the activity should be banned.
The Australian Wildlife Protection Council believe that the Department of Primary Industries desire to normalise game hunting in Victoria is motivated by short term economics (monetary gain through shooting licenses and permits), not public opinion, animal welfare, or any conservation efforts.
The Australia Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) opposes any ‘use’ of wildlife, particularly lethal use. Native animals need to be protected in Victoria, with no exceptions.
Encouragment by Department of Abhorrent Game hunting methods
“The second popular form of deer hunting specific to Sambar Deer is known as hound hunting and involves a team of hunters positioned strategically around an area where scent-trailing hounds are used to trail and flush deer towards the hunters. The hounds are started on the fresh marks of a deer and hunters use the baying of the hounds to help them to locate the animal”. 1.1.2 Game hunting methods
This is abhorrent and cruel. What happens next is not mentioned – brutalizing of the animals by dogs! What of deer with young? Deer should not be even allowed into Victoria as they are environmental threat.
A State Government-appointed scientific committee downgraded Sambar Deer under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act as a ‘threatening process’ because of their impact on critically endangered native plants (vegetation).
The committee found the deers' excessive browsing and antler rubbing was reducing the abundance of tree species such as cherry ballart, lily-pilly, muttonwood and the threatened yellow wood, tree ferns, mosses and rare fungi. Game hunters fear the downgrade is the first step towards the deer being declared a feral pest. Source: Carmel Egan, "Fight for deer life as greens take on hunters," May 10, 2009.
Regulation of game hunting
‘In Norman times, ‘forest law’ protected ‘the beasts of the forest’ (Red, Roe,Fallow Deer,wild boar); trees and undergrowth afforded them shelter, was known as the vert’. 1.1.3 Regulation of game hunting
The Norman conquest was in Britain, not Australia. The animals named are not native to Australia. We are no longer a society where kings award medieval princes the right to hunt in private parks. These lands are public lands and the public are citizens, not serfs. The public overwhelmingly disapprove of hunting native animals.
"To achieve sustainability and not send any populations into decline, harvest levels must not exceed the rate of increase." 1.1.3 Regulation of game hunting
Park rangers should ensure animals are de-sexed, controlled, not allowed to breed – they ultimately die out!
“Game hunting has occurred in Victoria for over 150 years and has been regulated since the early 1860s." 1.1.3 Regulation of game hunting
Our civilisation has moved on now from the ignorance of 150 years ago. We understand more about ecology and conservation. People are more aware of the past glory given to blood sports and are rejecting them as archaic. Many of our native birds and animals are under threat from human population growth, agriculture, dangers on roads, and land clearing. What was a cultural pursuit in the past is not necessarily valid in the 21st century. Our colonial fore bearers mistakenly introduced rabbits and foxes in Australia for “game hunting”, and this needs to be rectified professionally, not through “recreational” hunting.
“The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 establishes a Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals in Hunting”.
Hunting, killing of animals and their pursuit by dogs can never be humane, or supervised by the RSPCA or others. Hunters could be in remote areas away from veterinary care. It can't be regulated.
Rationale for Government intervention
The Wildlife Act 1975 should be endorsed and amended to actually protect animals from firearms and abuse. Protected birds and animals should be protected.
“Regulation is needed to manage risks to the public. Game hunting involving the use of firearms, bows and crossbows can present safety risks to both participants and members of the public if not appropriately managed”.
The use of guns is inevitably dangerous, and illegal use of them cannot be controlled. There's also the opportunity for crimes, using these dangerous weapons. They should be for sport, clay shooting, within club boundaries, not in state or national parks.
“The ‘tragedy of the commons’ argument states that free access to and unrestricted demand for a finite resource ultimately dooms the resource through over-use”.
Our wildlife are a common ownership, and “belong” to everyone. They are a finite “resource” - but have extrinsic value for their own sakes and don't exist exclusively for our enjoyment! Animals have a right to exist, and humans must understand that we share our planet with billions of species, and must tread with respect and peacefully with them. This is the rationale of AWPC.
Rate of extinction accelerating to crisis point
We are undergoing the Sixth Extinction Crisis. As long ago as 1993, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson estimated that Earth is currently losing something on the order of 30,000 species per year — which breaks down to the even more daunting statistic of some three species per hour. Unlike past mass extinctions, caused by events like asteroid strikes, volcanic eruptions, and natural climate shifts, the current crisis is almost entirely caused by us — humans. Australia, New Zealand and Pacific islands are likely to become the “extinction hot spots” of the globe, mainly thanks to the human destruction and degradation of ecosystems. There is no room for complacency about conservation and wildlife protection. It's a race against time to increase their protection, not endorse the age-old “sport” of killing, which was a reflection of past abundance!
Social and equity objectives
“Community expectation for game hunting must be conducted ethically and in a manner that minimises suffering to animals. While animal welfare has been regulated in Victoria since 1865.”
What was a “general community expectation” in the past is not necessarily appropriate in the 21st century. The past can't simply be cut and pasted into the present. The shooting and game lobby are over-powerful and need to be placed back in perspective as an anachronism. There is a valid place for shooting skills, but not when it is aimed at living animals – especially wildlife!
Crown land should only be utilized for peaceful purposes- sightseeing, observations, walking, photography, camping, eco-tourism. Visitors should respect Nature, create no impact and leave as they find parks. Parks and bushlands are the homes of native animals;their homes should be safe from human predation. Risks to public safety will be minimized if weapons are prohibited.
Problems in the current Regulations:
At the moment, the DPI has drawn attention to the fact that the Act does not prescribe the manner in which a person must apply for a Game Licence. It does not prescribe conditions on a Game Licence. It does not establish open seasons, regulate the methods of take or bag limits, or set fees for Game Licences. It does not prescribe tests for competency in identification of species and knowledge of laws. It does not prescribe specified hunting areas or times when unauthorised people are not permitted to enter or remain during duck hunting periods. It also does not prescribe Game Licence fees.
The implication in this consultation is that changes are sought to the above areas, but the AWPC disapproves of the whole premise of hunting native animals as 'game'.
The AWPC believes that the conditions for granting Permits to Control Wildlife are already too liberal. Evidence is that they are given out too freely. Permits to hunt wildlife as a recreational sport will add to the already terrible problems that our wildlife have in finding safe and secure habitat.
AWPC does not approve of any changes to the Wildlife Act 1975 that would not support the protection of wildlife, as protected species. There are too many loopholes, and not enough regulatory frameworks to protect them.
“DSE is dominated by property developer interests and has for years been a commercially oriented, outsourcing planning and development department that protects and promotes human population growth. On the 'natural environment side' it retains almost no wildlife protecting staff, and employs mostly people representing the interests of property developers and shooters, hunters, recreational fishermen and farmers and generally promoting the killing and extinction of wildlife through their actions. Actions and policies in DSE demonstrate that real concern about the care and welfare of our native animals is very rare in the DSE Authority that your taxes pay for.” (Sheila Newman - )
That our State government, under the umbrella of wildlife "management", continues to recklessly distribute permits to kill thousands of native animals, that permits are given to kill black swans, kookaburras and more than 1500 wombats and 32,000 kangaroos and wallabies last year, exposes a situation where inherent corruption and a colonial mentality with unacceptable attitudes still remains today.
Humane and safe hunting?
“The way in which game is harvested must be humane in that it results in as quick and painless a death as possible. In the past, game birds were trapped, netted, snared, limed (caught with glue), and shot with large calibre punt guns (a single shot could kill over 50 waterfowl and wound others), but these hunting methods have long since been prohibited in Victoria. These methods are not considered humane and may harm other wildlife or lead to unsustainable hunting practices”.
There is no such thing as completely “safe” hunting. It's not possible to trap, and shoot sentient animals or birds without mis-shots, stress, injury, suffering and death to offspring, and “humane” deaths. Eating game is not mandatory, or necessarily either.
Country towns in Victoria will benefit financially by introducing Nature-based Wetlands Tourism to their regions. The towns of Kerang, Boort and Donald in central and north-west Victoria have magnificent wetlands in their backyards. In Kerang, most of its wetlands are listed under Ramsar Convention as Wetlands of International Importance. These wetlands are not only rich in bird life, but also in other native wildlife and most importantly, they are rich in Koori heritage.
“It is difficult to understand how Premier Ted Baillieu, who has stated in the media that he is opposed to animal cruelty, and who we believe is normally a compassionate family man, can allow this unnecessary brutality towards native waterbirds to continue, simply to keep a dwindling number of duck shooters happy.” (Duck rescuer Tony Murphy).
The Department of Primary Industries dropped charges that he failed to kill a wounded waterbird. "Department of Primary Industries withdraws trumped-up charge of refusing to kill a wounded bird."
“The last two weekends have seen a bloody massacre on this wetland. Dead and wounded birds were brought down by shooters and simply left to rot. And this was just one of the 20,000 wetlands where shooting can take place in Victoria. If it weren’t for our rescue teams the evidence would never have come to light and the government would get away with sanctioning cruelty to native waterbirds without the truth ever being revealed”.
Laurie Levy, Media Release, March 2011:
Selection of Game Species
"‘Wildlife’ is defined under the Wildlife Act 1975 and includes all indigenous vertebrates and some non-indigenous vertebrate species, including all deer, quail, pheasants and partridges. The Act provides that wildlife may be declared to be ‘game’ and may be hunted, taken or destroyed in accordance with the Act and any prescribed conditions”.
The AWPC objects to the Wildlife Act 1975 including ‘game’ species, and species that are not endemic to Australia. Deer, quail, pheasants and partridges are introduced species. As such, they should be deemed feral animals, and confined to reserves and farms, or as pets. They are NOT wildlife.
"What ever the management objectives are, if the harvest is to remain sustainable, it is important to monitor population size and any changes to it”.
The AWPC objects to the objectifying of animals, and labelling killing as a “harvest”, naturalising and sanitising actions of cruelty and violence.
Activists say duck shooting numbers are declining – so there is no “sustainable” level of any killing. Nature does not comply with economics, State government policies, or the whims of those who want the entertainment of killing native species.
Last duck shooting season in Victoria, DPI said about 17,000 hunters went duck shooting on the opening weekend. Laurie Levy from the Coalition Against Duck Shooting says he has seen few duck hunters since then.
"Following opening weekend there have been very few duck shooters out throughout Victoria," he said. ‘The following weekend after the opening we went back to Lake Buloke and there were three duck shooters on Buloke. There are more duck shooters than actual targeted, shoot-able species. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-10/activists-say-duck-shooting-numbers-declining/3940626
The AWPC is opposed to any form of game hunting and shooting in Victoria.
Article based on a submission from Maryland Wilson, (President) and Vivienne Ortega, (Vice President), of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC).
NEW POPULATION BOOK HOLDS SOLUTIONS TO HABITAT DEPLETION: Sheila Newman has just published new theory in a new book, Demography, Territory & Law: The Rules of Animal and Human Populations (see link). Two chapters are on multi-species demography, the rest apply the theory to non-industrial societies and the author comes up with a completely new test for the collapse model of Easter Island, which will stun those who thought they knew all about it. Forensic biologist, Hans Brunner writes of it: "This book takes us to a completely new paradigm in multiple species population science. It shows how little we understand, and how much we need to know, of the sexual reactions when closed colonies with an orderly reproduction system are destroyed, be it people or animals."
Conrad Annals, Acting Chief Ranger for Northern Melbourne district has advised that there is no kangaroo cull planned in Plenty Gorge next Monday and Wednesday nights, contradicting what published here on August 9. He could not comment on the lack of wildlife corridors to and from Plenty Gorge in the face of high human economic immigration numbers resulting in rapid population growth and infrastructure expansion in Melbourne and the rest of Australia.
In this article's original leading paragraph, of which this is a rewrite, we said that the growth lobby (of which the organisers and beneficiaries are mainly property developers) is both benefiting from and causing this unnecessary high human population growth. This remains uncontested. We also stand by the statement that Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) protects and advances the costly interests of the growth lobby whilst pretending to protect our wildlife. We maintain that the growth is unnecessary and so is culling - when it occurs. The AWPC promotes another way: Wildlife corridors and relocation as well as stopping high immigration.
We have put the leader which we introduced this story with yesterday at the bottom of this article. In the light of Mr Annal's communication, we hasten to reassure readers that the rumoured cull has been officially denied. We retain the leader below for the record, which documents the fact that our initial information may have been wrong and we thank Mr Conrad for his timely communication, which we will pass on to our readers. We thank them for letting the Department know of their feelings because this may save kangaroos in the future. There have been past culls in this district and further afield in Victoria. The problem of human overpopulation and lack of corridors remains to be rectified. Examples of recent past culling or similar treatment of kangaroos in the same area are to be found here and here. In fact it was the problem of cruel treatment and lack of sensible policies in that area that resulted in the formation of the Coalition for Australian Wildife Corridors.
Translocation is better than killing healthy free animals. Open up wildlife corridors!
Please express your horror and disgust at the make up of Department of Sustainability and Environment, which cares nothing about kangaroos or other native animals. See for instance the recent expose by Skye Brown in "http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/culling-is-killing-not-some-act-of-humanity/story-e6frfhqf-1226443384194" in the Herald Sun Newspaper, for those who retain a passing familiarity with the Murdoch Press.
Know your Department of Environment and Sustainability (DSE) for what it really is
DSE is dominated by property developer interests and has for years been a commercially oriented, outsourcing planning and development department that protects and promotes human population growth. On the 'natural environment side' it retains almost no wildlife protecting staff, and employs mostly people representing the interests of property developers and shooters, hunters, recreational fishermen and farmers and generally promoting the killing and extinction of wildlife through their actions. Actions and policies in DSE demonstrate that real concern about the care and welfare of our native animals is very rare in the DSE Authority that your taxes pay for.
Please email the DSE Secretary Greg Wilson and tell him what you think at greg.wilson[AT]dse.vic.gov.au. Send a copy as a comment to candobetter.net.
DSE: Mass killing of Victorian Kangaroos in Plenty Gorge next Monday, Wednesday
AWPC has heard that kangaroos are to be killed in Plenty Gorge next Monday and Wednesday nights.
Plenty Gorge is located to the North East of Melbourne, in an area where high immigration numbers are resulting in rapid population growth and infrastructure expansion. The growth lobby (of which the organisers and beneficiaries are mainly property developers) is both benefiting from and causing this unnecessary high human population growth. This growth is being conducted in a manner that boxes animals, especially kangaroos, in with new suburbs and roads and then pretends that the animals themselves have become overly populous. We have previously published articles on this devastated area where wildlife have been hanging on as best they can. We in Victoria need to stand up for these gentle fellow creatures.
DSE, whilst masquerading as Victoria's natural environment protector, is really the headquarters of property developers and infrastructure engineers, who call themselves 'planners'. DSE is taking care of dirty business for the growth lobby by cruelly extinguishing the lives of many native animals. Kangaroo culls are the most dramatic of its cruel activities and DSE does not like exposure.
Relocation is the alternative to killing or to living and let living
Professor Steve Garlick and his wife Dr Rosemary Garlick have successfully relocated hundreds of kangaroos, showing that there is no need for killing these beautiful family oriented, social animals, even when their original homes are built over.
Killing is however preferred by DSE and so many pretend-environmental departments because those dictating DSE policy don't want Australia to retain wildlife in any meaningful way. They actually want our whole habitable environment to be turned into an endless suburbia and industrial park. They simply do not care what you and I think, nor how these animals suffer. Extinction is not of concern to them. They are concerned entirely by monetary economics and a growth economy.
Better than murder
DSE uses an inadequate Victoria-wide definition of ‘threatened’ which means that local populations can be extinguished without sounding the alarm so long as some numbers remain for the whole state. Pockets where animals appear numerous, due to fragmented populations trapped in small areas, are not assigned official “threatened” status. In fact little effective tab is kept of numbers.
DSE fails to assign official “Threatened Status” to species under threat
Former Executive Director Dr Ian Miles arranged for DSE Adrian Moores, Project Manager, Actions for Biodiversity Conservation (ABC), Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Division to demonstrate to AWPC the DSE Actions Biodiversity Conservation (ABC) Data Base system.
”DSE uses an inadequate Victoria-wide definition of ‘threatened’ which means that local populations can be extinguished without sounding the alarm so long as some numbers remain for the whole state ; pockets where animals appear numerous, due to fragmented populations trapped in small areas, are not assigned official “threatened” status. Little effective tab is kept of numbers. More and more native species simply vanish!” (
Sheila Newman Land-Use Planner and Environment Sociologist)
Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC)
Former teaser, replaced in the light of communication from Conrad Annal, Acting Chief Ranger for Northern Melbourne District.
AWPC has heard that kangaroos are to be killed in Plenty Gorge next Monday and Wednesday nights. Plenty Gorge is located to the North East of Melbourne, in an area where high human economic immigration numbers are resulting in rapid population growth and infrastructure expansion. The growth lobby (of which the organisers and beneficiaries are mainly property developers) is both benefiting from and causing this unnecessary high human population growth. Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) protects and advances the costly interests of the growth lobby whilst pretending to protect our wildlife. The growth is unnecessary and so is the culling. There is another way: Wildlife corridors and relocation as well as stopping high immigration.
Human exposure to 1080 is very severely restricted by law, for obvious reasons. The same does not apply to other species in baited areas. The major animal welfare concern over the use of 1080 relates to its extreme cruelty and its lack of an antidote. The major environmental concern relates to its effects on non target animals, either through ingestion of baits or by secondary poisoning.
Article by Sheila Newman with Maryland Wilson, President, Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC)
1080, sodium fluoracetate, is all bad news
1080, sodium fluoracetate- for which there is no antidote, is cheap and easy to use, but a cruel solution.
(Photo of Eastern Grey joey, "Acacia," by Brett Clifton.The late Dr Peter Rawlinson La Trobe University zoologist stated in 1987 (as an Australian Conservation Foundation Councillor):
“The wallaby does not know the carrots will poison and kill her...they are laced with 1080; she will die and her joey will starve! There is no antidote to the progressively slow and agonising death...as her functions fail...” Photo: Brett Clifton “When ingested, wallabies, possums, wedge-tailed eagles that feed on smaller prey are progressively debilitated and die a slow, agonizing death as its systems fail. Death may ultimately result from a variety of causes ranging from heart failure to suffocation. There is no antidote to 1080 poisoning”.
For these reasons, human exposure to 1080 is very severely restricted by law. The same does not apply to other species in baited areas. The major animal welfare concern over the use of 1080 relates to its extreme cruelty and its lack of an antidote. The major environmental concern relates to its effects on non target animals, either through ingestion of baits or by secondary poisoning... the toxic chemical that slowly kills.
Secondary poisoning occurs when animals, such as birds of prey, eat poisoned mammals. Falcons and eagles are a case in point. Many of these animals are increasingly rare:
"Australia and its territories host 35 species of birds of prey: 24 diurnal raptors and 11 owls, many of which are endemic. Nine species and as many subspecies are listed as threatened nationally and/or regionally....
As predators at the top of food chains they are vulnerable to secondary poisoning and the accumulation of persistent pesticides, and subject to persecution." Source: http://www.birdlife.org.au/documents/OTHPUB-Raptors.pdf
Pets and domestic animals victims of 1080
Dogs and even horses are at serious risk. Here is a case in New Zealand:
"The land treated could easily have been treated for possum control by safer alternative methods, ie. trapping and ferratox in bait stations, as it is NOT REMOTE, NOT INNACCESSIBLE, and NOT RUGGED TERRAIN.
It is obvious from the position of the animal, the damage to its leg, the vomited lungs and the distended veins, that this animal died a horrible and cruel death. Deer have been observed to have tried to rip open their own bellies in their agony, and have inflicted similar and worse damage to their bodies while under the effects of 1080. Dogs are driven insane by the excruciating pain inflicted upon them before succombing to a cruel death. Poisoned possums can travel several kms and may take up to 18 hours to die." Source: http://emigratetonewzealand.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/1080-3/
Dingos are a better idea than 1080
The alternative idea of supporting the return of terrestrial predators adapted to Australian conditions has recently been the subject of serious discussion, most recently and fascinatingly in this article by scientists, Corey Bradshaw and Euan Ritchie: "Can Australia afford the dingo fence?" The authors write:
"...Why do we invest billions of dollars in feral animal control and the subsequent recovery plans for endangered wildlife using the same techniques for decades, when a more proactive and natural alternative exists? It’s a solution mired in controversy because it involves yet another “introduced” predator – the dingo.
...And poisoning is not the answer either. In addition to killing non-target native species, baiting dingoes might in fact result in increased dingo densities due to social breakdown of the pack, resulting in increasing attacks on stock, not to mention a higher likelihood of hybridisation with feral dogs. Baiting also leads to more juvenile dingoes."
Article by Sheila Newman with Maryland Wilson, President, Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC)
Letter from Australian Wildlife Protection Council to RSPCA: "We seek your help to insist that appropriate action be taken against the perpetrators of cruelty committed vs a Fraser Island Dingo. Freedom of Information reveals Dingo Necropsy Report of a cruel horrific death on a healthy male dingo. This cruelty has been dismissed. The tragedy was entirely preventable and is this not what the RSPCA is all about? Prevention of Cruelty to Animals?" Thanks to the Habitat Advocate for the photograph.
March 30 3012
Dear Ms Neil, Dr Hugh Wirth, Dr Ian Gunn, Shadow Environment Minister Greg Hunt and all others,
We seek your help to insist that appropriate action be taken against the perpetrators of cruelty committed vs a Fraser Island Dingo. Freedom of Information reveals Dingo Necropsy Report of a cruel horrific death on a healthy male dingo. This cruelty has been dismissed. The tragedy was entirely preventable and is this not what the RSPCA is all about? Prevention of Cruelty to Animals? My list is incomplete but will call on others.
This dingo was trapped causing it extreme stress and trauma and muzzled, preventing essential panting reflex.
* The dingo was further restrained by a tight loop and pole around his neck.
* The dingo was suffocated and panicked by a blanket over his head.
* These actions effectively strangled the poor dingo, causing its untimely, unnecessary death. The use of a muzzle on a restrained canid, in heat, is avoided for reasons shown – dingo cannot pant and dies.
* Do you know of any other research project that would such use an antiquated method in the year 2012
* Usually animals caught in a trap are sedated, then examined so their metabolism can be controlled.
This tragic incident should be widely reported to Animal Welfare /Ethics Committees, those that would sit in at DERM or at UQ depending on who was overseeing the research and they all should be further investigated.
This hapless dingo died in the care of DERM Rangers who say they have carried out the procedure a thousand times. But they failed to monitor the metabolism of the dingo, and caused its death in panic. Control by rangers from the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) and by manager [name withheld], and those involved in this dingo’s horrific death, epitomize a total lack of empathy and humane training.
DERM stated they have trapped 1,000 dingoes, but there are reported less than 100 dingoes on Fraser Island which means that these poorly managed Dingoes suffer multiple trappings. (FOI and RTI under the 2009 Act). The death of this poor dingo demonstrates unequivocally, animal negligence and blatant cruelty.
It is incomprehensible that [name withheld] / DERM failed to protect this genetically important dingo.
This is, on its’ own, a serious crime. Dr Ian Gunn. Veterinary Professor and Senior Research Fellow stated that in all his years of experience as a Vet, Researcher and Lecturer this was the worst case of cruelty he had seen. The research started before the proposal was approved; this alone, is a serious breach of the law and should be thoroughly investigated. We ask that you seek justice for this dingo who suffered the most terrible death.
Maryland Wilson President
Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC)
Philip Woolley UK AWPC Executive International; Dr Hugh Wirth RSPCA Australia
Dr Ian Gunn Veterinary Professor Senior Research Fellow
Shadow Environment Minister, the Hon Greg Hunt [email protected]
Randy possums? breeding like rabbits? $160,000 of rate payers money for intrusive experimental possum birth control?" Maryland Wilson of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council also praises the Yarra City Council for enlightened aspects of its wildlife and possum program, but she suggest that their imaginative program could be order of magnitude more imaginative and lead a scaling up to connect with other councils. The Australian Wildlife Protection Council is the oldest organisation that specifically protects Australian wildlife and promotes wildlife corridors at local, state and national level. Maryland Wilson is a physically diminutive woman who punches far above her weight for wildlife. She works seven days a week entirely voluntarily, and has campaigns on behalf of Australian wildlife that reach to the United States and the European Union. Part of her great strength is the support she gives to wildlife carers round Australia. She never loses sight of the animals or the activists.
Yarra Council's Urban Wildlife Management is good but could be even better...
Maryland Wilson, President of The Australian Wildlife Protection Council acknowledges that Yarra City Council has a great Wildlife Policy entitled “The Yarra Urban Wildlife Management Plan 2009." She says, "We thank you, but ..."
1. Yarra Council needs to introduce Australia’s fodder trees-
These trees provide good possum food:
Among the Eucalyptus-
River Red Gums
Forest Red Gums
Red Flowering Gums-
These are all suitable hardy and good for possums with tannin/oil in their leaves
Amongst the Melaleucas-
Swamp Paper Bark
Amongst the Acacias
Flinders Range Wattle
These trees provide not only leaves, but flowers for diverse insects, seeds for birds and are good for possums
The above provide such a diversity of native trees that are attractive and provide native fauna with food, shelter and they also provide shade for Visitors to the Park.
It would be ideal to introduce these as semi-mature trees rather than seedlings
2. Continuous Urban Canopies-
What is more important, is to generate interconnecting canopies that link up to Nature Strips beyond Curtin Square (the Park) providing moisture at ground level that keep grass green-
All we are saying is give possums a chance
This would give possums a chance to move outside the Park to link up to Nature Strips- allowing them to move out and create far less dense populations within Curtain Square-
Trees can create canopies and wildlife corridors, giving possum’s safe exit from the Park.
3. Interpretive Signs need to be Introduced
Interpretive signs need to be erected in Curtain Square which encourages the public to value native wildlife- Signs need to educate that:
• Possums are Protected Wildlife
• Teach children to value them and engage with them
• In Council’s interests, will change attitudes and reduce complaints
Council should stop, halt, and cease exaggerated claims that possums are killing the trees.
Possums have lived with the trees for almost a Century – it is nonsense to scapegoat them
AWPC will disagree absolutely with culling and fertility control of native species as both are inhumane intrusions and doomed to fail. Any diminished populations will be overtaken by fertile territorial possums from surrounding areas.
Fertility Control is an experimental trial whose long term health effects on possums is unknown.
Thank you for this opportunity to help find humane and exciting ways to protect the possums, all our native birds and insects and all of Nature those remains-
Please keep in mind that Australia has the highest rate of extinctions in the world.
This plan to plant native trees will help reduce Pollution and Climate Change, provide food and shelter for our native birds and animals, and create peace in Curtain Square.
 This article is based on suggestions by Maryland Wilson, President of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council, addressed to Councillor Sam Gaylard of Yarra City Council on September 5, 2011.
Bob Irwin stands up for kangaroos
Bob Irwin, the late Steve Irwin's father, will be the special guest speaker at "An Afternoon with Australian Icons", an event organised by Gail Browning to raise money to help wild kangaroos. Indeed the event really does sound like quite a remarkable Aussie evening, mixing outback with working class and wildlife carers. Overseas tourists might like to book in order to experience something important and non-commercial, in the cause of our wildlife for whom the Australian government and their friends seem not to give a toss. The event will be at the Revesby Workers Club, 2b Brett St, Revesby, Sydney on Sunday 23 May 2010 from 3-6pm.
Singing, dancing, music, speeches, auctioning to save kangaroos
The event will be a wonderful day of singing, dancing, music, speeches, auctioning as well as a great opportunity to get together and celebrate our united front to save our kangaroos.
It is supported by Animal Liberation, The Greens, The Wilderness Society, World League for Protection Animals, Sydney Wildlife, Sydney Pet Rescue, Animals Australia, Voiceless, WWF, The Kindness Society (Sydney), WIRES, Greenpeace (Syd Office), Vegan Society.
(And, of course, candobetter.org also supports it.)
Items listed for sale at the auction include:
1.One week accommodation in Shoal Bay, 2kms from Nelson’s Bay, near Newcastle NSW, for 5 people in beach front unit.
2. Original Ken Done painting- “Morning Glories in Opal Vase” valued at over $3,500 donated by Ken Done especially to help animals.
3. A 9 carat yellow gold framed kangaroo pendant, with diamonds and white gold kangaroo, on a yellow gold chain.. One of a kind, designed by Alwyn Scott.
4.A Designer League bowling ball, 16 pounds, peach colour.
5. Kangaroo t/shirt signed by all the Australian Icons attending the event.
6.Large frame containing 4 photos, including mob of Eastern Grey kangaroos , mother and joey, and 2 individuals, photographed at Pebbly Beach and Murramorang National Park, on NSW South coast.
7.Steve Waugh’s autobiography book signed, hard cover called “Out of My comfort Zone”.
8.Australia’s First Selective Gold plated $1 Kangaroo Coin. This special coin has been issued to celebrate the 2nd decade of Australia’s internationally acclaimed $1 Silver Kangaroo Series, in 2003.
9. A pair of Abstract Art Works called “Rock Paintings” by Australian Artist Faye Leister
10. A Basket of National Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary Passes from all over Australia, including Canberra, Perth, Featherdale , Currumbin and more.
11. Portrait of a kangaroo by Maureen Klees
12. Painting of magnificent gorges in spectacular Karijini National Park in Western Australia . Artist: Marion Pender.
4 Deni Hines CDs and DVDs including Deni Hines and James Morrison, Christine Anu and Deni hines, plus “deni hines water and chocolate’, signed CD.
ALL PROCEEDS TO THE AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY OF KANGAROOS (ASK)
"How thick can a political skin get?" writes Victorian wildlife ecologist, Hans Brunner.
Mr. Brumby's minister for the Environment, Gavin Jennings, turns a damning report by the Auditor-General on endangered species into receiving a “pat on the back”.
In a media report he welcomes the Auditor-General’s report and stating, “ The findings are a “pat on the back” as well as a remainder that we must continue working to protect Victoria’s unique plants and animals”, hence, nothing will change.
He has received this report with a poker face grin and treated it like water of a duck.
Here are some of the Auditor-General’s remarks:
• “ At the current rate of progress, with existing resources, it will take a further 22 years for the department to complete action statements for the 653 items currently listed threatened.”
• “ Of those threatened species listed as threatened, less than half had an action statement prepared”.
• “ The gap between listed items and items with action statements continue to widen.”
• “On the advisory list are 2249 species of flora and vertebrate fauna.”
• “ Listing decisions are compromised by a lack of reliable, up to date, scientific data and limited stakeholder participation.”
• “ The Act enables the department secretary to prepare formal plans to guide the management of threatened flora, or potentially threatening processes – NO MANAGEMENT PLAN HAS BEEN PREPARED TO DATE.”
• “ This review concluded that the existing regulatory policy framework for the protection of threatened species is in need for a major overhaul.”
• “ There is no legal power to compel department or other agencies to complete the directions within action statements. Departmental staff who prepare and monitor action statements relay on GOOD WILL of other departmental and agency staff to undertake tasks in the action statements.”
• “ The full range of management processes and consideration and control measures available in the act has NOT BEEN USED.”
• “ The greatest human threat to other species is habitat loss. Accordingly, tools to protect ecologically significant areas of habitat are essential.’
The report also pointed out on numerous occasions on inefficiencies, duplications and limits of resources. What it missed to clearly highlight is that huge amount of time and money is spent on listing endangered species and the production of management plans but no further action is taken or enforced to properly rectify the problems.
A typical example is the under resourced and incompetent handling of the nationally endangered Eastern Barred- and Southern Brown Bandicoot. Further more, habitat loss is still continuing unchecked with no realistic offsets possible.
If this deserves “a pat on the back” for Mr. Brumby, ordinary, daily work would have to make him immortal.
Wildlife Ecologist, Victoria
(shown left pointing out bandicoot activity in the Frankston area, Victoria)
Photo by Brett CliftonText added by Sheila Newman
In a press release on
April Fools Day 2009,
Victoria's Minister for the Environment,
interpreted as a 'pat on the back' a condemnatory report by the Auditor General on the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. Jennings' response seems like a crude damage-control exercise. The report said "the government's lack of baseline data or output performance measures means that it is not possible to conclude whether or not the Act has achieved its primary objectives. The available data, which is patchy, indicates that it has not," and notes failure to use the conservation and control measures in the Act, inadequate listing of threatened species, failure to develop action statements, to monitor implementation of these, or to assess their effectiveness, and that penalties for offences under the Act have not been reviewed or updated and therefore are not an effective deterrent." The Minister and the Government should resign; they are a sad joke.
The media release cited was from the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Gavin Jennings, was dated Wednesday, 1 April, 2009, entitled, "Government welcomes auditor-general report".
The Australian Wildlife Protection Council has long said that Victoria lacks any framework within which our fauna are managed and has noted that there has never been a prosecution under the Victorian Fauna and Flora Act since it was created in 1988. Victorians who have looked and listened carefully have noted the silence in many forests once alive with song and movement, the deserted grasslands, and the corpses of kangaroos, koalas, wombats on our roads. Those of us who have tried to tackle the situation with Department of Sustainability Victoria (DSE) have also observed the avoidant, unassertive, endangered staff and ever-diminishing habitat of the biodiversity section of DSE and its encroachment by primary industries, find this comes as no surprise.
But will the backbenchers of the Bracks/Brumby government's aspirational classes come to their senses and stop chorusing on cue that Victoria is the "best place to live work and raise a family". Instead, will they stand up for their constituents on nature, justice and democracy and refuse to kowtow to hollow leaders more interested in commercially trading property and finance than good government?
1. Audit summary
Conserving biodiversity is core to responsible environment and natural resource management and is fundamental to maintaining both quality of life and economic well-being, both now and in the future.
The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (the Act) is the primary Victorian legislation providing for conservation of threatened species and ecological communities, and the management of processes that threaten the sustainability Victoria's native flora and fauna. The Act establishes a listing process. Once an item is listed the Act sets out a range of management processes and conservation tools that can be implemented to protect and conserve species.
Since the Act was passed in 1988, 653 plant and animal species, communities and threatening processes have been listed.
The objective of the audit was to review the Department of Sustainability and Environment’s (the department) administration of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and to assess how effective the processes and actions developed under the Act have been in preserving Victoria’s native flora and fauna.
The full range of ‘management processes’ and ‘conservation and control measures’ available in the Act has not been used.
Action statements are the primary tools in the Act being used to protect and conserve threatened flora and fauna. However, the effort directed to listing threatened species and processes has not been matched by effort to develop action statements, to monitor the implementation of actions, or assess their effectiveness. The gap between listed items and items with action statements continues to widen.
The lack of baseline data and outcome or output performance measures means it is not possible to conclude whether the Act has achieved its primary objectives. The available data, which is patchy, indicates that it has not.
2 Administration of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988
1.3.1 The listing process
The department has invested most effort in listing threatened species. However, there is duplication of processes within the department and with the Commonwealth Government’s listing process. The time taken to list an item, while within the three year (156 weeks) timeframe specified under the Act, continues to exceed the department’s internal benchmark of 31 weeks. The internal benchmark is an optimum period that requires each stage to be completed as quickly and reasonably as possible. This benchmark could not always be met in part due to factors beyond the department’s control, such as the Scientific Advisory Committee requiring multiple meetings to consider a nomination.
Over 800 items have been nominated for listing and 653 have been listed under the Act. However the department’s ‘advisory’ list (a separate list not subject to the listing process), contains over 2 200 species of flora and vertebrate fauna. Many of the species on the advisory list are likely to satisfy the criteria for the ‘threatened’ list maintained under the Act.
The listing process while conforming with the Act is compromised by a lack of up-to-date scientific data and by limited stakeholder participation. The department’s information systems relating to conservation and biodiversity are incomplete and disjointed. Major system development and integration projects are underway to address current shortcomings.
1.3.2 Conservation tools
The various management processes, conservation and control measures available under the Act to conserve and protect flora and fauna are not being used, largely because of their perceived complexity and difficulty of administering these provisions.
The department has relied on provisions in other environmental legislation, strategies, policies and plans in preference to those available under the Act to conserve and protect flora and fauna.
While ‘action statements’ are mandatory, their development and finalisation has been protracted. There is no time limit in the Act for these tools to be finalised—‘as soon as possible’ is the time standard set. At the current rate of progress, with existing resources, it will take a further 22 years for the department to complete action statements for the 653 items currently listed as threatened.
The Act The Act was reviewed by the department in 2002. This review concluded that ‘the existing regulatory and policy framework for the protection of threatened species in Victoria is in need of a major overhaul.’ A number of recommendations to improve the Act resulted from this review, but no amendments to the Act have been made.
Audit summary Administration of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 3 The state government’s April 2008 green paper, Land and Biodiversity at a Time of Climate Change, acknowledges the need for legislative reform (State and Federal) and the proposed white paper will identify the extent to which legislative change is required.
1.4 Recommendations The department should:
• review the internal timeframes it sets for listing, against the resources it applies and the processes it adopts, to confirm they are realistic
• continue to build its knowledge-base on threatened species, causes of their decline and how best to mitigate threats to them; and expedite the transfer of information held on manual files to the ABC system
• formalise its collaboration on conservation activity with the Federal Government and seek a joint agreement to eliminate duplication in the listing process (Recommendation 4.1).
The department should:
• assess the resources it applies to developing, monitoring and reviewing action statements and establish a prioritised action plan to address the backlog of listed items with no action statements
• include in new and revised action statements the processes by which it will monitor progress and evaluate the effectiveness of each initiative within the action statement • review the efficacy of conservation and protection tools available under the Act
• assess whether the listing process is the most effective and efficient means of protecting species and communities
• develop a suite of output efficiency and outcome effectiveness measures to monitor and assess its conservation efforts (Recommendation 5.1)."
The Report can be downloaded here
Thargomindah's “Invasion” of kangaroos and emus
According to a new report a “plague” of kangaroos has descended on the outback Queensland town of Thargomindah in search of food and water due to the drought. Residents of the small town in Queensland have been subject to a “biblical invasion” of kangaroos and emus over the past few days and it’s causing quite a stir in this small outback community.
Bulloo Mayor John Ferguson says the shire has been struggling with drought since 2001 and conditions are probably the worst they have been in more than 40 years. Councillor Ferguson says most graziers have destocked their properties because there is no feed left, even for kangaroos or emus.
The Burke and Wills 'Dig Tree', 300 km west, tells a story of explorer misfortune, bad luck and bad timing. It was under the shade of this Coolabah tree on the Banks of Cooper Creek that the explorers established their Base Camp in November of 1860. This town was the first in Australia and the third in the world to have street lighting generated by hydro power back in 1893.
According to a local farmer, “they’re swarm proportions, you have no idea, it gives you a creepy feeling when you see them that thick”. He also says that despite good rain to the east, none fell west of Thargomindah and Eromanga. The “plague” or “curse” is not the kangaroos!
The “exploding kangaroo population” in Thargomindah Queensland, apparently, is because Russia has banned the sale of roo meat. It sounds like the kangaroo industry pushing their own agenda! The media has reported stupid things like a a woman who was too scared to hang her washing out because of the kangaroo coming close to the town, implying very strongly that they are creating a safety problem as well!
Apart from the emotive and derogatory wording, the situation is indicative of the condition of Australia. Apparently Tharomindah's population of 250 are so “run over” that there are five roos for every person! The local sergeant claimed it was not the first time they had been “ender siege” from the kangaroos!
Clearly, they see their national symbols as the threat, and they on alert for a war against these generally gentle animals.
Theromindah's worst drought in 50 years has hardened hearts against their indigenous inhabitants
Tharomindah is having the worst drought in 50 years and it has left the region desolate.
The temperature reached 41 degrees Celsius recently and Bulloo Mayor John Ferguson says the onset of hot conditions is a huge worry for landholders.
When farmers remove stock from their paddocks because of lack of feed, many of them add urea to the water troughs to kill any kangaroos that come to drink.
If our wildlife are the canaries in the mine, then surely this is a very dire situation and indicative of the terrible toll under which our environment, due to drought and climate change, are under. The industry propaganda states that currently kangaroos are starving to death, and it's kinder to shoot them.
Climate change is exacerbating existing threats
Climate change may happen too quickly for some species to adapt and may exacerbate existing threats such as land clearance, farming and pollution. Australian species with biological traits that make them susceptible to change, or with restricted habitats, are particularly vulnerable to extinction.
Australia already has the worst rate of mammal extinction in the world. Almost 40 per cent of mammal extinctions globally in the last 200 years have occurred in Australia. This incredible continent is losing species at an unprecedented rate and, as most species found here aren’t found anywhere else, the loss of Australian species is a loss for the whole world.
Two of the four species that are extinct on the mainland survive today on a few offshore islands. This trend of extinction and isolation may continue as a result of climate change.
At the time of European settlement the Bridled Nail-Tail Wallaby was a common species. It now survives in only five percent of the area it once inhabited. They are the only species of rock-wallaby in Victoria, and were once found in large numbers in rocky areas prior to European settlement.
There were once 10,000,000 Mala Hare Wallabies right across Australia in arid and semi-arid areas. The species is now considered to be extinct in the wild.
The list of extinctions of once “common” species is a deadly roll call. Yet, people still don't understand or have compassion for today's common species.
Six macropod species are extinct, 7 are endangered
Out of our 49 macropod species, 6 have become extinct, 7 are endangered and 10 classed as vulnerable due to their small population in restricted areas, and numbers of the remaining species are killed annually.
Incessant and unsustainable commercial shooting has decimated kangaroo populations throughout rural Australia.
A new study published in the December issue of the University of Chicago’s Physiological and Biochemical Zoology found that an increase in average temperature of only two degrees Celsius could have a devastating effect on populations of Australia’s iconic kangaroos.
Authors Euan G. Ritchie and Elizabeth E. Bolitho of James Cook University in Australia say that generally accepted climate models predict temperatures in northern Australia to be between 0.4 and two degrees warmer by 2030, and between two and six degrees warmer by 2070. Ritchie and Bolitho found that a two-degree temperature increase may shrink its range by 89 percent.
They found that a temperature increase as small as a half-degree Celsius may shrink kangaroos’ geographic ranges. Pasture and water holes drying up "may result in starvation and failed reproduction … or possible death due to dehydration for those species that are less mobile.”
We have the highest number of livestock per head in the world! Kangaroos are scapegoats and being vilified for livestock damage and the lack of willingness of landholders to tolerate any animals other than livestock on their land.
Language of hate and fear
The description of kangaroos as a “plague” and a threat is disgraceful and disrespectful of our national icons. People think that kangaroos are indestructible, but climate change and the drought are obviously taking its toll on our wildlife.
The lack of compassion and fear is really astounding! Livestock eat much more than kangaroos, and are clearing our land of trees and native pasture. If they are desperate for food and water, they are indicative of what is to become of Australia - a sterile, hot and dry lifeless desert!
They don't deserve to be begrudged some food.
Bridled Nail Tail Wallaby was a common species.
Exposure Draft Planning and Environment Amendment (GAIC) Bill
I understand that the exposure draft legislation for the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) has been released for public comment. I am totally opposed to the extension of the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) and with it the destruction of Green Wedges and imposition of a land tax - the GAIC. My reasons:
1. The proposed GAIC is a grossly unfair tax and is fundamentally flawed. Although it has been substantially amended prior to drafting the legislation, landowners are still significantly disadvantaged. The tax is now to be levied on the purchaser rather than the seller. This will mean the price a landowner receives from the sale will be reduced by the amount of the tax. Only developers are likely to purchase land with a tax liability. I advocate that the State Government withdraw this proposed tax and only impose land taxes at the point of development, as in other Australian States. Fair and equitable taxation is a basic tenet of our democracy.
2. The imposition of a complex taxation system on land sales is likely to expand the bureaucracy of the Growth Areas Authority, thus reducing funds available for infrastructure of new settlements and defeating the purpose of the legislation.
3. The cost of building new homes on the rural fringes of Melbourne is double that of constructing infill dwellings in the inner city. This is the hidden cost of suburban sprawl. The added costs include extra infrastructure. (A report, commissioned by your Department and released in July, cites research that found "for every 1000 dwellings, the cost for infill development (in existing suburbs) is $309 million and the cost of fringe developments is $653 million".) As you stated in Parliament, the funds to be raised by the $95,000 per hectare GIAC tax will cover only 15 per cent of total infrastructure costs of new growth areas.
4. Expansion of the UGB and the rezoning of land from rural to residential will mean Green Wedges land will be engulfed by suburban sprawl. The Government must abandon the Green Wedge land grab as destructive of the environment, a threat to wildlife, including endangered species, and as a major contributor to green house gas emissions. Around the urban fringe is concentrated of some of the most endangered eco-systems in Australia, including the Western Basalt Plains Grasslands and Grassy Woodlands in the Darebin, Jackson and Merri Creek valleys and habitat for a range of threatened species. These will be lost if the UGB expands.
5. Expansion of the UGB will mean reduction of arable land for farming and food production with urban sprawl.
6. Expansion of the UGB will mean increased risk of bush fires with urban sprawl in new fire-prone areas.
7. Expansion of the UGB will mean increased car dependency and increased green house gas emissions.
8. Construction of the E6 through Wollert and Woodstock is destructive of these townships and their landscapes.
9. The State Government has failed to consider the question of what is a sustainable population for Victoria, given scant water supply, peak oil crisis coming up and climate change.
10. As the Prime Minister has just announced the Federal Government’s involvement in planning of Australian cities and provision of infrastructure, the State Government’s move to raise infrastructure funds for new growth areas appears precipitate and premature.
The above was a Submission made on November 2 2009 by Maryland Wilson,President Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc, to:
The Hon Justin Madden MLC
Minister for Planning
Parliament of Victoria
East Melbourne 3002 Date:
Sent to: Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution Comment, GPO Box 2392, Melbourne Victoria 3001 or email to GAIC.comment[AT]dpcd.vic.gov.au
Jan Heald and Maryland Wilson of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council
Rights of Wildlife
A lot of people at the July 14 demonstration against Madden's proposed land grab in the Green Wedges were there to campaign for the rights of wildlife. Among them were three members of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC), President Maryland Wilson, Secretary Jan Heald, and winner of an AWPC award for outstanding service, Rod "Roos" Stoner.
"We appreciate this opportunity to be a VOICE for our native animals," said Maryland Wilson. "It is a privilege to be standing with Julianne Bell of Protectors of Public Lands, who speaks for all those affected by the Government's outrageous planning laws, which run roughshod over ecosystems and biodiversity."
She was, of course, referring to Planning Minister Madden's shocking proposed expansion of Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary, involving rezoning up to 46,000 hectares for residential development, new roads and a freeway.
Addressing a large and angry crowd of people who had gathered to protest at the destruction of the wedges and draconian taxes on landholders, President Wilson expressed her sympathy for those who stood to suffer from the taxes, but she said, "Someone here also has to speak up for the kangaroos and other wildlife who cannot vote or speak up themselves. If these plans go ahead millions of living creatures will suffer and die, and our world will be poorer for their loss and we as human beings will be poorer for our loss of decency towards them."
Victoria the leading state in environmental destruction
In an interview, President Wilson told me, "In 2006 the AWPC wrote to Madden, asking that any development should have an environmental impact statement (EIS) before proceeding. Not only has he ignored that reasonable and modest request, but he has proceeded to create policies which destroy native wildlife habitat at an alarming rate, so much so that Victoria is now the leading state in environmental destruction. The Victorian government and Mr Madden's planners run roughshod over wildlife habitat, seemingly without giving a thought to the ramifications of what it means in extinction of species."
When asked what she felt might still be done, President Wilson said, "Obviously Mr Madden is not going to listen to the pleas for help to preserve what wildlife remains. Therefore the only alternative is for a change of government."
She said that the situation is growing so serious for species, especially kangaroos, that she cannot keep up with the calls she receives for help and her volunteers are stretched to the limits on the frontiers of encroaching suburbia, dealing with a sort of 'animal apocalypse'.
Tragic and avoidable situation of the Somerton kangaroos near Thomastown
"For instance", she said, "Several years ago we made an award to one of our 'wildlife warriors' - Rod Stoner - for his incredible efforts to draw public attention to and get help for the plight of a small mob of kangaroos trapped by industrial, commercial and housing development in Somerton. The animals were literally being built around as they foraged for grass in fields that had been enclosed after they had entered it. Some died while trying to make it across the highway. A road was paved down the center of the area; rock crushers made noise and dust on one side; delivery trucks entered and left on another, bulldozers worked on another, and everywhere there was rubbish piled up and strewn around. The animals were being treated like so much rubbish themselves."
"A number of people from different organisations were so shocked that, there and then, we formed the Coalition for Wildlife Corridors. We have published surveys and drawn maps and studied the problem of Victorian wildlife in the particular and the general and we have, most importantly designed easy to follow plans for wildlife corridors in particular areas."
"Rod Stoner has been monitoring these poor kangaroos for several years now,and we have tried everything but stand on our head to gain effective action from VicRoads, DSE, and the Hume City Council. All have made reassuring noises when pressed, but no-one has taken any real responsibility. We who care so much see that those who have power in planning and development have no real concern for the suffering of other creatures and no real respect or understanding for the natural world. Because of this callousness and apathy, this poor little mob of kangaroo refugees will eventually die out. Our wildlife deserves ... So ... Much ... better, " she said, drawing the words out.
"On a bigger scale", she added, "It is obvious that a population explosion in Melbourne, with the accompanying demands for housing is responsible for the Somerton and other tragedies to date, but, with the latest figures showing that Melbourne is increasing by 2000 people a week, it will not be long before we see all our wildlife die out in Victoria, the most cleared state with the worst species extinction in Australia."
"If we cannot refrain from continuing this completely avoidable rate of population growth in addition to climate change and the reduction of indigenous habitat and wildlife access to water and food, our wildlife are doomed."
"Is this really what we want for Victoria?" she asked.
Australian Society of Kangaroos thanks the organisers of the rally
Nikki Sutterby, the Coordinator of the Australian Society for Kangaroos said she sent a big thank you to the people who organised the demonstrations and marched today to save our environment in Victoria, and its green wedges.
"As an organisation that is fighting for the rights of kangaroos, we are well aware of the suffering and displacement that occurs when natural areas are destroyed for development", she said.
"We are currently fighting to save a mob of kangaroos at Mill Park who are land locked by development, and another at Bendigo."
But that is only a teardrop in an ocean of infinite sadness ...
"These animals represent millions of animals that lose their homes every year to the expansion of human development and may we say that we are fully supportive of what you are doing to save our environment and increase the publics awareness regarding it."
Ms Sutterby regretted that she was unable to personally attend the protest, due to circumstances beyond her control, but she offered to give her organisation's ongoing support to the campaign.