Some councils have lobbied the State Government about their concerns about excessive numbers of kangaroos in their areas, and the damage they are doing to their communities, the rural economy and the impact on road safety. In response, the Department of Environment and Water (DEW) proposes amendments to its management plan, primarily by extending the commercial kangaroo harvesting zone to cover the entire state, excluding metropolitan Adelaide, and, for cultural reasons, the Alinytjara Wiluṟara Natural Resources Management region.
DEW also proposes that four additional kangaroo species (tammar wallaby, Kangaroo Island sub-species of western grey kangaroo, eastern grey kangaroo and red-necked wallaby) be permitted to be commercially harvested.
The primary goal of the management plan is to provide for the sustainable use of kangaroo species in accordance with the principles of ecologically sustainable development. DEW considers that facilitating the humane culling of wild kangaroos by professional shooters is the most appropriate way to manage the overabundance of this species. This will enable sale of kangaroo carcasses for meat and leather production. Currently, kangaroos may be killed, but the carcasses are then left to rot on the ground.
The quotas of kangaroos which may be culled will be managed by DEW monitoring numbers. Numbers of kangaroos have boomed since the current plan was adopted in 2018 so it is anticipated that this approach will assist in managing numbers.
The overabundance of kangaroos was raised by some councils in submissions to the Natural Resources Committee Parliamentary Inquiry into the Management of Overabundant and Pest Species in South Australia held in December 2019. The report from that Committee is yet to be released. DEW foreshadowed these proposed amendments to its kangaroo management plan in its submission to the Inquiry, but also noted the challenges faced by the commercial kangaroo harvesting industry.
Through their role in leading communities, and understanding the concerns of farmers, environmentalists and the community, affected councils should contribute to these discussions. Councils may also have insight into the viability of the commercial kangaroo harvesting industry and whether the proposed changes are viable.
DEW has met with the LGA and asked that we assist in facilitating council feedback on the proposed changes through its YourSAy website.
FAQs and background material can be found here:
You may provide feedback here:
by Friday 6 September 2019.
Please copy your feedback to Katherine Russell, Senior Policy Officer at the LGA, at firstname.lastname@example.org