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March 21, 2023

Kangaroo Protection Bill introduced to NSW Parliament

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Lismore candidate Vanessa Rosayro

With just a few days until we head to the polls, The Echo asked the candidates for the seat of Lismore one last bunch of questions.

Mark Pearson MLC says it is absurd and shameful that he has to bring a bill to protect this animal which is part of our image to the world.

There aren’t many countries whose animal emblem is so maligned and Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson has introduced a controversial bill to New South Wales Parliament that would ban the killing of kangaroos.

The bill is an Act to amend the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, and would prohibit the issue of licences under that act which currently authorises lethally harming or commercially harvesting kangaroos.

Mr Peaeson says it is absurd and shameful that I have to bring a bill to protect this animal which is part of our image to the world.

‘We have been slaughtering kangaroos in their millions since the first grifters and chancers laid claim to Aboriginal lands and declared the kangaroo, an Australian native of some 20 million years, a pest,’ he said.

Unholy alliance

Mr Pearson criticised the state government’s ‘unholy alliance’ with the kangaroo industry for facilitating the exploitation of kangaroos.

The Department, in an obvious conflict of interest with its native animal protection obligations, oversees the commercial killing of millions of kangaroos each year, treating them as economic resources rather than as sentient beings belonging to a keystone species critical to environmental biodiversity.’

‘Flawed’ kangaroo population data

Mr Pearson slammed the Government’s ‘flawed’ kangaroo population data, pointing out that localised extinctions already occurring and that industry kill quotas are set above the maximum biological reproductive rate of kangaroos.

‘What reason could there possibly be for the industry to fail to fill 70 per cent of its quotas, year in year out? The kangaroos are simply not there.’

Mr Pearson also condemned the cruelty of both commercial and non-commercial kangaroo killing.

Joeys bludgeoned to death

‘This bill is for the untold number of joeys bludgeoned to death, the mothers with non-head shots left to die in the field, the missing alpha males and for the decimation of the iconic mobs that once proudly roamed the open plains of this country.’

Mr Pearson tabled his bill in honour of the late Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison, Yuin Elder, who gave a testimony at the 2021 NSW kangaroo inquiry, and quoted him in closing his speech: ‘How long have those kangaroos been hopping on this land? They are not intruding on farmers, or developers, or roadways. My people have lived beside the kangaroo for thousands of years and we never considered them as a pest.’

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  1. CSIRO may have a strong view on this since their research at the Louth research centre shows that kangaroo numbers depend on the availability of pasture – mainly a climate affected issue – and water. Before we started developing farms for cattle and sheep, in the pastoral country of western NSW and Qld, permanent watering points were few and far between which acted as a natural limiter on Kangaroo populations. But now we have peppered the area with stock watering points so the natural summer dry and drought cycles no longer limit the population. Kangaroos have breeding cycles that are adapted to this dry climate cycle, but, once again we have mucked about with it with troughs everywhere and kangaroo numbers have exploded. They can cause massive feed shortages since the lack of watering points no longer means they have to move on or delay breeding.

    • Thank you for that. What IS the answer, do you think, Richard? The proposed Bill, per article above, does not state management criteria.

      • I think this brings us back a full circle, because it seems like, at least in the conventional sense, they ARE “pests” and an abundant resource.
        ” as economic resources rather than as sentient beings belonging to a keystone species critical to environmental biodiversity”
        This wordy rhetoric, aside from opening loads of questions about ethics and ecology, also tries, in typical partisan reduction of critiques of capitalism, to contrast “economic resource”.
        Sure, both words are tainted by the Roman patriarchy, but ours is a language of betrayal, and leaves us without familiar alternatives. I think it goes without saying that any “resource” is “economic”, with or without the free market connotations. “Re+source” apparently comes from Latin via French, again+spring.
        Given conventional farming is simultaneously degrading it’s own resources and promoting kangaroo numbers, surely they are a source of food for households. But I reckon such sophistication in our economic self management would be incompatible with free markets.
        Maybe the problem lies in the presumption that the water, the grass and the kangaroos (or their alternatives) will “spring again”.

  2. Our lives would be unbearable if it wasn’t for the Animal Justice Party. The images and stories we see about the millions of animals suffering in the vile Live Export Trade, the treatment of cows who are forcibly impregnated and then have their calves taken away and slaughtered, the shameful suffering of dogs and cats in puppy farms, the cruelty of rodeos, the terrible treatment of horses and greyhounds raced until they sustain injuries and are then slaughtered–all just to horrific to bear. Support the Animal Justice Party please as they fight to stop the suffering.

  3. ­ 10:33
    Submitted by anonymous user: [Visitor,]
    Submitted values are:
    Sent to Premier of NSW Feb 2022

    Type of enquiry: Message
    Subject: Kangaroos Wallabies
    I just signed a petition concerning a burning Wallaby left to die with a lot of others.
    I would like a response: Yes, I would like a response
    I would like to receive regular updates from the NSW Government: No
    End of message

  4. “economic resources rather than as sentient beings belonging to a keystone species critical to environmental biodiversity”

    Do you know what the word sentient means?
    If Roos went extinct, it would not effect us. They are simply inefficient sheep.


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