Coun­cil votes to let cafe keep joeys

Narrogin Observer - - News - Saskia Adysti

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.”

Pic­tures: Sjanna San­dalova

Me­gan Smith feed­ing a joey.

The joey en­clo­sure.

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