Wal­laby wor­ries sent to RSPCA

The Cairns Post - - NEWS - ALI­CIA NALLY ali­cia.nally@news.com.au

CON­CERNED wildlife cam­paign­ers have lodged a com­plaint with the RSPCA over the han­dling of an ag­ile wal­laby pop­u­la­tion near the Blue­wa­ter hous­ing de­vel­op­ment at Trin­ity Beach.

The com­plaint comes two months af­ter a Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil ecol­ogy re­port rec­om­mended the mar­su­pi­als be left alone, tran­quil­lised and moved, ex­clu­sion fenc­ing in­stalled, a wildlife cor­ri­dor es­tab­lished or culled.

No de­ci­sion has been made on their fu­ture yet with the coun­cil say­ing it was the state’s re­spon­si­bil­ity and the state say­ing it was still wait­ing for di­rec­tion from the coun­cil.

Cairns Coastal Wal­laby Pro­tec­tion So­ci­ety president Ge­off Hol­land said re­lo­ca­tion of wal­la­bies was a last re­sort and more needed to be done to pro­tect the ex­ist­ing pop­u­la­tion.

“Wal­la­bies need space and, if they don’t get the space, they’ll get stressed,” he said.

“We need a pop­u­la­tion count done on an an­nual or bian­nual ba­sis so we know what’s hap­pen­ing. What we want in this cri­sis is land.”

Fel­low mem­ber Tanya Jones lodged the RSPCA com­plaint against Brook­field Res­i­den­tial Prop­er­ties and said wal­la­bies were be­ing forced out on to Cap­tain Cook High­way, not to­wards Earl Hill or Smith­field Recre­ational Re­serve as per a wal­laby man­age­ment plan pre­pared for the de­vel­oper by Biotrop­ica Aus­tralia.

Divi­sion 9 Coun­cil­lor Brett Olds said a de­ci­sion had to be made.

“As far as coun­cil was con­cerned the de­vel­oper was meet­ing obli­ga­tions,” he said.

“The only thing re­al­is­ti­cally which can be done is to re­lo­cate them. The de­vel­oper prob­a­bly just has to bite the bul­let and pay to re­lo­cate them.”

A De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion spokes­woman said ag­ile wal­la­bies were pro­tected and said it had pro­vided ad­vice to the coun­cil re­gard­ing its op­tions for man­ag­ing the wal­la­bies un­der Queens­land na­ture con­ser­va­tion laws.

The Cairns Post did not re­ceive a re­sponse from the de­vel­oper be­fore dead­line.

ed­i­to­rial@cairn­spost.com.au face­book.com/TheCairn­sPost www.cairn­spost.com.au twit­ter.com/TheCairn­sPost

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