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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 2544..


MR PRATT (continuing):

"quite rightly referred back to the Land Development Agency because the lease and development conditions had not yet been revealed". The lease and development conditions were released by the Land Development Agency on 17 November. If inquiries were being referred to the LDA prior to the lease and development conditions being issued, why did ACTPLA have a meeting to discuss the issue with Austexx on 4 October? Why were Austexx not referred to the Land Development Agency?

MR CORBELL: I will seek advice from officers and take the question on notice.

Kangaroos

MS PORTER: My question is directed to the Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, I read with interest the media stories about the experiment to manage the number of kangaroos by limiting their breeding. Are you able to explain to the Assembly the purpose of the experiment and how it will work?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Ms Porter for her question about a topic that has generated a great deal of interest. We received a number of inquiries about kangaroos, or skippies, from AAP Reuters and AAP New York. At present there are large numbers of kangaroos in the district. Whilst they are generally regarded as lovable skippies they can pose a risk to drivers and road safety. We need a humane method of managing the number of kangaroos.

This experiment is aimed in particular at managing the numbers in nature reserves or enclosed areas, and in urban nature parks. A previous experiment showed that injections with contraceptive drugs worked and interrupted the breeding cycle for up to two years. We are now working on increasing the size of the experiment and making it cheaper by introducing pellets into the food supply of kangaroos. We are working with researchers from the Marsupial Research Laboratory at Newcastle University to investigate this oral contraceptive for eastern grey kangaroos.

Thirteen kangaroos seen regularly on the Federal Golf Course, 25 in Belconnen and 29 at Tidbinbilla have been identified with ear tags and passive integrated transponders, another name for a microchip that enables a kangaroo to be tracked. Part of the difficulty encountered in the past has been catching the kangaroos to tag them. Without the tags they cannot be tracked and we cannot be sure how the experiment is going. However, new equipment and diligent target practice—

Mr Stefaniak: With .303s?

MR HARGREAVES: The leader of opposition is laughing at the image of kangaroos being used as target practice, which would not go down too well. New equipment and diligent target practice with tranquilliser darts has aided in catching kangaroos. This new experiment builds on work conducted over the past 10 years, including trials on captive kangaroos at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

Previous research showed that injections of a fertility control agent successfully prevented pregnancy in female eastern grey kangaroos. However, the move to oral delivery is essential for wild kangaroo populations. Aside from contributing to the current research on kangaroo fertility control, fenced groups of known aged individual


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