Save the Kangaroos of Baldivis petition gets nearly 25,000 signatures in two days

Matt Whitfield with residents Kevin Will, Gordi Bogunovic with joey Khal, Jessica Verkerk with joey Benjen, Wildlife Relocator Becky Wagstaff with joey Arya, and her daughters Shayla and Chloe Wagstaff.
Matt Whitfield with residents Kevin Will, Gordi Bogunovic with joey Khal, Jessica Verkerk with joey Benjen, Wildlife Relocator Becky Wagstaff with joey Arya, and her daughters Shayla and Chloe Wagstaff.

BALDIVIS resident Jessica Verkerk has started a petition to relocate kangaroos at risk because of the new Paramount Estate.

The petition had garnered nearly 25,000 signatures in just two days.

Her proposed relocation for the kangaroos would be either the Tamworth Wetlands or the Baldivis Children’s Forest.

“Currently the area is fenced and has separated the mob – the alpha male is on one side with about 60 roos while 20 are on the other side with no protection,” she said.

“It will be a process with a few steps – the mob needs to be reunited first.

“It’s not about blame and the petition is about getting the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to change the licence so the developer can relocate the kangaroos.

“I also would like future developments to come with a strong policy in place with nature strips or corridors to fit with what’s best for the community and the kangaroos.”

DBCA were not keen on relocation according to their spokesperson.

“Relocation of large numbers of kangaroos can result in poor animal welfare outcomes, as the areas into which they are placed already have kangaroo populations that are using the available resources,” they said.

“The relocation process itself can also cause stress to the animals, which can result in their death. “

The Department said the ultimate responsibility for native wildlife was with landowners.

“They are responsible for managing native fauna on their land,’ she said.

“DBCA provides advice to land developers on suitable options to manage fauna such as kangaroos that may be impacted on their land.

“The developer is responsible for preparing appropriate strategies and applying for a licence to take or disturb the fauna.”

Mayor Barry Sammels said the City of Rockingham did not support a cull.

“Yes, the City has always supported relocation of the kangaroos at Paramount Estate,” he said.

“A kangaroo management plan was prepared in November 2018 but despite the City’s request for the animals to be relocated, the developer’s management plan proposed euthanising the kangaroos.

“The City expressed its concerns to both DBCA and the developer regarding this course of action; highlighting the preference for the kangaroos to be relocated rather than euthanised.

“However, DBCA maintained their approval of the proposed action.

“DBCA have since verbally advised that any discussion regarding the kangaroos at Paramount Estate must be between DBCA and the licensee (Spatial Property Group).

“Nevertheless, the City has again been in contact with DBCA to emphasise the need for an alternative solution, which both the City and the community can support.”

Councillor Matt Whitfield said he was glad he released information about the cull to the community.

“I’m really proud of the Baldivis Community – I was very nervous releasing all the information but it was a last resort to get the kangaroos moved,” he said.

“There are no evil developers out there, they are just complying with the department.”

Spatial Property Group had not replied to questions by time of publication.

The petition can be viewed at www.change.org/p/save-the-kangaroos-of-baldivis