North Melbourne Institute of TAFE
After ten months of protest by the Eden Park community, the Whittlesea Shire Council, Australian Society for Kangaroos and local volunteers, which included a seven month 24 hour front line vigil, hundreds of Eden Park kangaroos were saved from unnecessary death at NMIT.
The protest began in October 2010 when the Victorian Department Sustainability and Environment authorised NMIT to slaughter 300 kangaroos and their joeys on the grounds of protecting crops, pasture and biodiversity. However despite repeated letters and complaints from the council, the community and ASK, NMIT nor DSE were able to provide evidence to justify this.
The cull aroused outrage and distress within the Eden Park community, and brought the Whittlesea Shire Council, local volunteers and residents and the Australian Society for Kangaroos together in a battle which proved to be one of the most important wins for kangaroos in the state, and demonstrated to the Victorian government that people were not going to sit back and watch as it decimated the last big mobs of kangaroos that has survived the 2009 fires, and who the people of Eden Park in particular had come to value and cherish.
During the ten month battle ASK made several distressing discoveries in the days following shooting at NMIT. They found four kangaroos on the NMIT site who had been shot in the chest and body, and left to die in agony. This prompted an intense RSPCA investigation into the cull.
See full media reports below.
|Ben Biasizzo, 4, holds joey Pax, one of the saved mob. Picture: David Caird Herald Sun |
In the final weeks of the protest, a scientific report was released by a well respected ecologist named Ray Mjadwesch, which was presented to the Minister for Environment. This report titled “Review of Kangaroo Management at NMIT” quashed all justifications for the cull and exposed the NMIT Kangaroo Management Plan for the unscientific and unprofessional paper that it was.
In reference to NMITs Kangaroo Management Plan it reported that:
“No evidence of impacts of kangaroo grazing are presented by Walters (Ecoplan) at all”,
“In the absence of a systematic and quantified vegetation surveys, comprehensive wildlife surveys, and invertebrate sampling, Walters provides no evidence of kangaroo impacts contributing to impacts (if any) on the sites 'natural biodiversity' values”,
“The kangaroo management plan is uniformly devoid of any detail or analysis”.
In response to Ecoplans kangaroo counting techniques, Mjadwesch states:
“The reviewer has no confidence in any results coming from such a flawed application of the prescribed methodology, nor in an interpretation by persons who have not demonstrated any competency in application of a scientific method or analysis”,
“It is difficult to understand how Walters came to the conclusion that NMIT should be shooting their kangaroos, on the basis of no evidence of impacts on vegetation or biodiversity values. It is even harder to understand how Walters came to the conclusion that kangaroos need to be shot, because they were identified as occupying the forest verges, not the paddocks, and are therefore not in competition with horses, or detracting from the NMIT interests pertaining to equine studies”.
In response to Ecoplan's recommendation for NMIT to shoot 300 kangaroos every year for three years (900 kangaroos), Mjadwesch states:
“The graph below shows what will happen to a population of 710 kangaroos if you shot 300 of them each year for three years....This shows extinction in the population in three years”.
In conclusion Mjadwesch writes:
“It is difficult to understand how Walters came to the conclusion that NMIT should be shooting their kangaroos, on the basis of no evidence of impacts on vegetation or biodiversity values. It is even harder to understand how Walters came to the conclusion that kangaroos need to be shot, because they were identified as occupying the forest verges, not the paddocks, and are therefore not in competition with horses, or detracting from the NMIT interests pertaining to equine studies”
To this day, four months after submitting a Freedom of Information request with the Department Sustainability and Environment, the DSE has failed to provide any documents relating to the NMIT kangaroo cull that were requested by ASK. They are required to fulfill an FOI request within 45 days.
For more on this amazing battle, please see the media reports below:
- People power hops in to stop kangaroo cull, 27 Oct 2011
- Eden Park cull plan was flawed, 26 Oct 2011
- Government out of step with opinion on roo shoot, 26 Oct 2011
- Plea to stop kangaroo slaughter, 21 Mar 11
- Roo cull objectors set up 24-hour vigil, 21 Mar 11
- Eden Park roo cull in cruelty probe, 29 Mar 11
- Protesters vow to 'physically intervene' to stop roo cull, 23 Mar 11
- Fury at TAFE kangaroo cull, 31 Mar 11
- Residents dispute reasons for cull, 15 Feb 11
- DSE Act Inappropriate, 1 Mar 11
- Roo Cull an Insult, 22 Feb 11
- Plea to Stop Kangaroo Slaughter, 19 Dec 10