Stray­ing cat­tle a road risk

Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Glenn Cord­ing­ley

Stray­ing live­stock be­tween Broome and Derby have been in­volved in 25 ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents over three years from 2014-2016 but a Kim­ber­ley-based MLC be­lieves the fig­ure would be sig­nif­i­cantly higher if ev­ery in­ci­dent was re­ported.

An in­jured per­son needed to be taken to hos­pi­tal af­ter one of the crashes.

Fig­ures re­leased in State Par­lia­ment show Main Roads main­te­nance crews have buried 225 cat­tle found dead along the same 220km stretch from Jan­uary, 2014-March, 2018.

Derby res­i­dent and Min­ing and Pas­toral Re­gion MLC Robin Chap­ple last month had a lucky es­cape when the troop car­rier he was driv­ing col­lided with a cow on the Great North­ern High­way, about 100km north of Broome.

The Greens MLC first raised the mat­ter in State Par­lia­ment in 2015 with a se­ries of ques­tions and fol­lowed up with some new queries last month, which were an­swered by Min­is­ter for the En­vi­ron­ment Stephen Daw­son on be­half of Trans­port Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti.

“Cat­tle on Kim­ber­ley roads is a ma­jor prob­lem and will con­tinue to cause ma­jor ac­ci­dents and in­juries to mo­torists un­less we find so­lu­tions to keep cat­tle off our high­ways,” Mr Chap­ple said.

“I raised the mat­ter again re­cently af­ter my own ac­ci­dent ear­lier this month.

“My troopy copped it, as did the cow, but I was lucky enough to walk away un­harmed, un­like some. We have to work with pas­toral­ists on this is­sue.

“Liv­ing in Derby, I know that many peo­ple are con­cerned and want to see the Gov­ern­ment work to make our roads safer.”

There have been four fa­tal

ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing cat­tle in the Kim­ber­ley be­tween 2000 and 2015, in­clud­ing one on the Great North­ern High­way about 25km south of Derby in De­cem­ber, 2013.

In his an­swers, Mr Daw­son said the dead an­i­mals were iden­ti­fied and de­tails recorded where sta­tion ear tags were present but brands were not logged.

He said an ad­vi­sory group for the man­age­ment of stray­ing cat­tle in re­gional Western Aus­tralia had con­vened at least eight times since its in­cep­tion in 2012, with the last meet­ing on July 6, 2015.

Mr Daw­son said pas­toral­ists were re­spon­si­ble for mon­i­tor­ing their own stock and not al­low­ing their cat­tle to stray on any roads or per­mit them to re­main there.

WA Po­lice and lo­cal govern­ments are the only third par­ties per­mit­ted to re­move cat­tle from the road.

Mr Daw­son said 12 of 20 sep­a­rate projects al­lo­cated a to­tal of $10.75 mil­lion in Jan­uary were com­plete, in­clud­ing fenc­ing at known hotspots on the Vic­to­ria High­way and in­stal­la­tion of a grid on Valen­tine Spring Road, both in the Kim­ber­ley re­gion.

The re­main­ing work would be staged as the pro­gram had been ex­tended un­til 2019-20, with about $5.56 mil­lion of an­i­mal mit­i­ga­tion projects planned over the next three years, Mr Daw­son said.

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