MURRAY River Council has taken a significant step in its campaign to effectively manage kangaroo numbers.
A motion to have numbers investigated across south and south west NSW to identify hot spots for selective culls was successful at the Local Government NSW Annual Conference this week.
After fighting for several years to have some sort of action taken, councillor Tom Weyrich said a ‘‘viable’’ step forward had been made.
Cr Weyrich said about 95 per cent of motions that were successful at the conference were acted on as a result.
‘‘It’s about road safety and the safety of people who use our highways and byways. That’s the motivation behind it. People are injured and vehicles are damaged,’’ Cr Weyrich said.
Cr Weyrich was one of several representing MRC at the conference in Sydney. About 300 people attended the event from 92 councils across NSW.
‘‘This was the first time it’s got up,’’ he said.
‘‘NSW has the worst number of animal collisions in Australia.
‘‘There were 19,000 collisions last year involving animals, 80 per cent of which were kangaroos.
‘‘They could hardly argue with that. One of the arguments against was that you should train the drivers but that might work for locals but what do you do for those travelling through our communities?’’
According to the NSW Government’s website there were 819,450 red kangaroos in the Griffith zone (which includes Moama to Deniliquin) in 2017 and 601,325 in 2016. There were 1,241,399 grey roos in 2016 and 1,262,635 in 2017.
Cr Weyrich said those who perform the culls were professionals and ‘‘know what they are doing’’.
‘‘It’s not fun for kangaroos to be hit by cars,’’ he said.
‘‘They don’t always die, some of them are left on the side of the road to die and that’s not a fun way to die. Then in times of dry seasons they starve to death.’’
Cr Weyrich said the whole of his council area had a problem with kangaroos.
‘‘From Moama to Moulamein and everywhere in-between,’’ he said.
‘‘At the end of the day I think it was great that it got over the line. I think 80 per cent of the delegates voted in favour.’’
Cr Weyrich also spoke vehemently against a late motion by one council to ban all wood heaters.
‘‘I fired up to that one,’’ he said.
‘‘We don’t have natural gas everywhere. They might have it there but we don’t.’’
Cr Neil Gorey also spoke to MRC’s motion to have the Independent Commission Against Corruption become federal which was successful.
‘‘There are a lot of issues that go cross-border,’’ Cr Weyrich said.
‘‘Neil got it over the line too so congrats to him.’’