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Kangaroos must be “culled” for urban sprawl - Article by AWPC Editor

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:

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. [ Ed.: See here for concerted attempts to create such corridors by the AWPC:]

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.


Erysikhthon or (Erysichthon) was a mythological Thessalian king who chopped down the sacred grove of the goddess Demeter in order to build himself a feast-hall. As punishment for the crime the goddess inflicted him with insatiable hunger, driving him to exhaust his riches and finally, in poverty, devour his own flesh.

After Demeter had noticed that this tree in her sacred grove had been chopped down, she told Famine about this, which led to Famine inflicting voracious hunger upon Erysichthon. This caused Erysichthon to grow hungrier and hungrier and the more he ate, the hungrier he got. So, in order to get more money to buy more food, he ended up selling his own daughter, Mestra to a ship's captain as a slave.

What we have seen over the years is the globalization of an economic system that sees money as an end in itself—in fact the production of money has become one of the main endeavours of our time, money and its derivatives having become the main trading good on the world’s markets.

Perpetual growth is the exponential rise of nothingness, interest upon interest, fire that feeds fire. It swallows and consumes everything in its path. Land, natural resources, housing, living standards, open spaces, biodiversity and wrecks pristine climatic systems. Perpetual growth consumes our forests, ecosystems, native species, and means always loosening environmental laws and policies to cater for Capitalistic growth. We end up devouring the very elements that make up our own identities as Australian!

The pursuit of endless growth means diving into an abyss of debt, deprivation, and disadvantage. The costs of growth are never considered, and we end up with an economy addicted to almost forced to keep selling off portions of our country, so much so that we end up eating our own "flesh"- like Erysichthon.

I cannot see how any wild life can continue to survive when its habitat is alienated from it. What could Mr. Temby have possibly meant when he said that is was possible? What he says now, I'm afraid is more realistic. I live in an established suburb and there are no kangaroos here. I'm sure there would have been 150 years ago. All the kangaroos in the path of Melbourne's development juggernaut will die eventually, as they have in my suburb, whether they are massacred by a "wildlife authority" or they die adventitiously as cars mow them down. It is painful to hear any news item about this. It is even distressing to hear of one poor animal trapped in a car park or on a road. Sometimes an incident will be depicted as humorous by various radio presenters when they issue their radio warnings to motorists. Maybe the attempt at humour is to stop us feeling and to objectify the suffering animal. Painful as it is , I think people should be confronted with it more often. The newspapers and television should be full of it complete with photographs and footage so that people know what population growth is costing. Wildlife corridors as suggested would be palliative for the situation because in the end the habitat is gone and it seems to me that the animals would be escaping to nowhere. Correct me if I am wrong. The only kind and humane solution, really is to stop population growth. Why doesn't Mr. Temby say that?

There are times when I totally despair for our wildlife, there are people who have the courage of their convictions and take action to bring Governments comply with the wishes of the majority. Not an easy task, people need cause and motivation to do this and they need strong leaders to make Governments realise that they are given a Mandate by the people to govern on their behalf.

Unfortunately in the genre of wildlife there is massive complacency and too many armchair wildlife warriors who have a lot to say on social media but are mute when it comes to taking action to write or lobby Governments about their concerns.

When was the last demonstration about the plight of our wildlife? When was the last demonstration about urban sprawl?

When has a comprehensive petition been presented to the Victorian Government dealing with wildlife the urban sprawl or over population?

Nothing will change until we force the Victorian Government or the Federal Government take our dissatisfaction seriously.

If we want change we have to get out there, spread the word and confront the government.

I would recommend voting for the Sustainable Australia Party at the next election -

They are running a candidate at the by-election in Joe Hockey's old electorate in north Sydney - the candidate is William Bourke. I think at the by-election the party will still have to use their original name 'the Sustainable Population Party'. They are the only political party that recognises the devastation caused by overpopulation, and have actual policies to address the problem. The Greens are too busy loving all the humans on earth (all seven billion of them) to actively address the issue, in fact I don't believe the majority of Greens members or supporters even comprehend the impact of overpopulation on our environment (or human societies).

i have just spoken to a representative from the State Dept of the environment regarding wildlife on the urban fringe , particularly kangaroos. I wanted to know what preparations are made re wild life as Melbourne expands He told me that the department works with local councils to avoid creating "gaps" when new developments are created, where kangaroos become trapped then are killed by cars on the roads. He said that kangaroos cannot be re-located firstly as there is no available territory for them and of course they become extremely stressed and there are very high mortality rates if they are "darted" and captured. He mentioned "precinct planning groups" regarding wildlife which I gathered are made up of council and Environment reps. The officer pointed out to me that once there were kangaroos in Kew but i was already aware that wildlife is always expended as suburbs extend. He apologised to me that there was no good news and that development in his observation is accelerating.

"No available territory for kangaroos"! There seems to be endless "territory" for human expansion, even the destruction of food bowls and arable land! The fringe of Melbourne is being impacted by the city's obesity - and keeps expanding. There's no urban boundary, and it's simply growing and sprawling with market forces, and heavy population growth. The growth monster has no boundaries, and is always seen as "good".
Their solution to kangaroos endangered by roads and fences is "culling". They have no economic value, and are a risk to drivers and the people coming in contact with them. The sterilization and the destruction of our landscape to create generic housing estates is destroying our country, and making it into a featureless desert of concrete and commercial structures.