Page 1513 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 May 2015

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avoid the need to cull kangaroos through the shooting program then we should look at ways of doing that. The trial will give us the evidence to determine whether or not it is viable, whether or not it is cost effective, and then we can make some decisions from that point.

So let us be very clear: you cannot compare culling with the trial program because it is just that. It is a trial. It has not been implemented on the same scale as culling and until we see the results of the trial we should wait and see exactly what the consequences of adopting such an approach would be.

I think that, quite clearly, we all understand that this is a difficult issue. Culling of kangaroos is an emotive issue. It is a difficult issue. But we know that most Canberrans, the majority of Canberrans, understand that it needs to occur. Equally, I think a majority of Canberrans would support the government continuing to look at alternatives, if they are feasible, if they are viable and if they are relatively efficient. And that is the purpose of the trial.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, will the kangaroos that have been treated with the contraceptive be visually or electronically identifiable so that those not yet treated can also be indentified?

MR CORBELL: These are the issues that ecologists in the conservation research area of the Environment and Planning Directorate are currently finalising and resolving. I would be very happy to provide a detailed briefing to Mr Wall on the details and the methodology around the issues he raises.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, what are the risks of failed delivery of the vaccine, trauma from poorly aimed darts and stress or injuries as a result of panic in the trial?

MR CORBELL: Again, these are issues around methodology that will be resolved on an ongoing basis by the government’s ecologists, working in partnership with Territory and Municipal Services staff. I make it clear that we are not yet at the stage of field trials; we are currently at the stage of finalising methodology and the delivery of the trial in the field.

I make the point that, in relation to concerns about trauma or injury to animals, all stages of the trial require approval by the relevant scientific ethics committee process, which, of course, is an independent process that confirms that it is ethically responsible to conduct the trial in the way proposed and that it has regard to issues of animal welfare. Those are matters that are central to this process, and all stages of the trial must be signed off by the relevant ethics committees.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

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