Council votes to let cafe keep joeys
After a six-month battle with the Shire of Gnowangerup, Phil Vardy has finally received approval to continue looking after orphaned kangaroos joeys from his cafe.
Mr Vardy and fiancee Megan Smith were put under scrutiny after they built an enclosure at the back of their newsagency and cafe to care for three joeys they found malnourished after their mothers had been killed.
The Shire issued an infringement notice last December on the grounds that Mr Vardy’s enclosure breached the Food Act and the Health Act.
However, during a council meeting last month councillors voted to allow the pair to keep their joeys.
“Three councillors actually stood up, they told the chief executive that the town needs something to attract people to come,” Mr Vardy said. “Every two months, our cafe used to get inspected by the health department and they never had any complaints about it.
“We will bring back the joeys in the next three weeks once we got a license from DPAW to have them.”
Mr Vardy said he was happy with the outcome of the battle, however he said his shop had suffered as a result of the dispute.
“I can keep my shop but it means that I have to get rid of kangaroos — so I decided to fight for my kangaroos — at the end of the day, I was about 90 per cent sure that people in town would back me up and I was right,” he said.
“It’s been expensive but at the end of the day, it was worth it.”
Megan Smith feeding a joey.
The joey enclosure.