AN extensive investigation is being carried out by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service into the alleged culling of joeys at Mount Panorama in 2009.
Co-ordinator of the Australian Society for Kangaroos, Nikki Sutterby, said it is alleged 88 joeys were illegally killed at Mt Panorama in preparation for the 2009 Bathurst 1000 car race.
Ms Sutterby said a Freedom of Information investigation by the society in 2010 revealed that a professional shooter had killed 88 joeys – more than the quotas authorised by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change.
She said in response, the Australian Society for Kangaroos lodged a formal complaint with the department regarding the alleged breach of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act.
In a letter to the society, Sally Barnes, head of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and deputy chief executive officer of Environment and Heritage within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, said that a “complex and extensive investigation” into the matter is ongoing.
Ms Barnes was responding to correspondence from the society’s co-ordinator Nikki Sutterby which was sent to the department last February.
She told Ms Sutterby she would respond to her letter as soon as the investigation has been
Ms Sutterby said the shooter’s records for the Mt Panorama kangaroo cull exposed a longstanding concern for wildlife groups.
“Joeys are not counted by shooters in commercial and non-commercial quotas, despite the law requiring this,” Ms Sutterby said.
“We believe that hundreds of thousands of kangaroo joeys are killed illegally by commercial shooters every year.
“Joeys are the future generation, and are fully protected by the law, however, this significant omission by our governments could be threatening the future survival of kangaroo populations being killed for their meat and skins.”
At the time the move to cull up to 140 kangaroos on Mount Panorama outraged environmentalists who claimed the interests of the Great Race were put ahead of the native wildlife.
Bathurst Regional Council instigated the cull after being granted a permit by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The licence gave permission for 60 kangaroos living on the inside of the track and 80 residing in the outer environs to be culled.