Kangaroo numbers high in West Wimmera: Council

West Wimmera council believes the number of kangaroos in the shire is creating a problem for motorists.
West Wimmera council believes the number of kangaroos in the shire is creating a problem for motorists.

WEST Wimmera Shire councillors believe an increased kangaroo population is becoming a public safety issue.

Council decided at a meeting on Thursday to ask government departments why kangaroo numbers had increased in the shire.

Councillors also floated the idea of a culling program.

Cr Warren Wait said if council wanted to make the shire safe, they needed to do something about culling kangaroos.

“The figures are far too high – they are everywhere,” he said. “I’m concerned about the number of car accidents it is causing.

“There are heaps more roos than even before.”

The state government runs a kangaroo cull program, which involves processing the meat for pet food.

The program includes Horsham Rural City, Yarriambiack and Northern Grampians municipalities, but not West Wimmera Shire.

Chief executive David Leahy said council wanted to be part of the program.

“We’ve been approached by Member for Lowan Emma Kealy and by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to see if we wanted to be involved, and we said yes,” he said.

“We also wrote to former Environment Minister Lisa Neville about being included, but nothing has happened yet.

“I urge a degree of caution about council running its own culling program.”

Cr Richard Wait said it was a public safety issue.

“Maybe the process to get a shooters licence is a deterrent,” he said.

“If people aren’t bothered getting a permit to shoot kangaroos, because it’s so much effort, then the population would increase,” he said.

“Panel beaters are doing a roaring trade out of this problem.

“If it’s causing road accidents, I’m concern about the safety of our residents.”

Harrow resident Tom Houlihan said he had noticed the increase in kangaroos.

“It is downright dangerous,” he said.

“We have a big problem and it will affect the health and safety of residents.

“We need to get professional shooters in the shire.”