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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
“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.
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/
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.
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 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."
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!
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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):
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,
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.
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.)
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Promising new approach to restoring respect for kangaroos
The Kangaroo Trail map (pictured left) is a bold initiative from the persistently performing Australian Wildlife Protection Council.
We read often in the mainstream news distressing stories about how kangaroos are too numerous and need to be culled. In fact the evidence for these statements, and for the cruel and bloody actions that follow them, is extremely poor. Definitions of how many is too many are circular. Kangaroo population statistics which ignore immigration and emigration are useless. Statistics which infer population numbers from rising road-kill without factoring in the spread of development which is driving more animals onto the roads in search of food and water should be exposed for the rubbish that they are, but are accepted instead without question.
Stooping to aphrodisiac wildlife trade depraves Australia
Do Australians really want this kind of 'productivity' or the kind of leaders who encourage it?