Page 2040 - Week 06 - Friday, 6 May 2005

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(1) decision to go ahead with the Googong kangaroo cull in 2004 and can it be made publicly available;

(2) Was the Minister aware that the Googong slaughter was conducted in a manner contrary to the requirements of the ACT Code of Practice for the Humane Destruction of Kangaroos; if so, when did he become aware;

(3) Is the Minister aware that the ACT’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) was not briefed about the slaughter until the night it finished;

(4) Will the Government establish clear, formal processes for Environment ACT to apply in regard to future culls or harvests of kangaroos at Googong or elsewhere even though there isn’t any expectation in the foreseeable future that further or additional kangaroo culls will be necessary;

(5) Will the Government commit to a transparent process, including (a) identifying realistic objectives, (b) independent scientific assessment, (c) public notification prior to the cull, (d) adequate opportunity for public input and (e) an evaluation process to establish whether the slaughter has achieved its objectives;

(6) Will the Minister provide assurances that any further culling will be in accordance with the ACT Code of Practice for the Humane Destruction of Kangaroos;

(7) How can we be sure the Minister will consult with AWAC in relation to the welfare aspects of future proposals to kill kangaroos.

Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The public report Background Information on Kangaroo and Pasture management at Googong Foreshores for the July 2004 Cull is available on request from Environment ACT.

(2) Googong Foreshores lies in NSW and NSW legislation applies. A licence to cull Eastern Grey Kangaroos at Googong Foreshores was obtained from the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation. The cull was conducted in accordance with the National Code of Practice for the Humane Destruction of Kangaroos, as required under the conditions of the licence.

(3) The ACT Animal Welfare Advisory Committee was briefed on the cull at the first available meeting of the Committee after the decision to undertake the cull had been made. During the course of the culling program, the Chair of the Committee participated in two consultation meetings that were convened by Environment ACT.

(4) A process is in place to monitor vegetation condition and kangaroo numbers at Googong Foreshores. The Government will be advised of the outcome of this monitoring and its implications for protecting water quality in the Googong Dam. Future decisions on kangaroo management at Googong will be guided by this information. A similar process will apply to other areas.

(5) The Government will continue to manage land and water resources to conserve ecological communities and to protect water quality for the benefit of the ACT community. Decisions about kangaroo management are part of this process. The setting of objectives and the evaluation of outcomes will continue to be based on sound science. The detail of individual programs will be determined on a case by case basis.

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