Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (4 August) . . Page.. 3417..
MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Environment. Minister, on WIN news on 26 July, in relation to the Googong kangaroo cull, you said:
Well I think the behaviour that we've witnessed over the last two weeks is probably explanation enough for why it's best to conduct these things first without consultation, without the gaze of publicity and then to announce what's been achieved.
Unlike with previous culls, you failed to consult the animal welfare advisory committee that is there to advise on these issues. Indeed, the only reason this whole thing became public was that your department letterboxed residents near the Googong reservoir and happened, perchance, to letterbox the environment reporter for the Canberra Times. Otherwise you would have kept most of the population entirely in the dark until the process was finished. Why did you adopt this policy of shooting first and consulting the community afterwards?
Mr Quinlan: The policy was in place, for heaven's sake!
MRS DUNNE: Why are you looking at permanently abandoning the consultation process for kangaroo culls-
Mr Quinlan: The policy has been laid down over a long period!
MRS DUNNE:-when it was your failure to follow the consultation protocols that caused the trouble in the first place? Do you want me to repeat that?
MR SPEAKER: I would.
MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Why did you adopt this policy of shooting first and consulting the community afterwards? Why are you looking at permanently abandoning the consultation process for kangaroo culls when it was your failure to follow consultation processes that caused the problem in the first place?
MR STANHOPE: I support the processes put in place by Environment ACT. It was a most difficult and quite complex issue that they faced in culling kangaroos at Googong. These are never easy issues. I believe the advice I received in relation to the basis for the cull was soundly based. I believed that when I was initially advised; I believed it when I approved the cull; and I believe it now. No issue or program like the culling of kangaroos, or indeed the culling of any animal, can be achieved without arousing quite significant emotion and concern. It can arouse emotional and, at times, quite unreasonable, responses, which we experienced. I have to say I applaud the way in which Environment ACT handled this whole matter and I continue to support them.
MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, in accordance with standing order 118 (a): I asked the question, basically, why has he abandoned community consultation? No-one has an issue here, I think, with the nature of the cull; the question was about why was there no community consultation.