Reviewer to examine cull proposal

Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) chairman Paul Vogel said the independent statutory body was not directed by the State Government and its report would be public.

‘The person chosen to provide a peer review will be selected on the basis of their recognised scientific expertise in this area, their independence from EPA’s assessment process and their willingness and availability to undertake the task,’ Mr Vogel said.

Peer-reviewed proposals include changing groundwater limits at Fortescue Metals Group’s Cloudbreak Mine this month.

Mr Vogel said a scientist reviewer for the cull assessment would be selected without advertising, using protocols from the EPA’s administrative procedures.

Assessments can take six months to two years but Mr Vogel said the cull proposal was ‘less complex’ dealing with marine fauna.

The Government wants the cull to restart on November 15 and Mr Vogel said timing of the assessment depended on departments of Premier and Cabinet and Fisheries information being consistent with EPA policy.

The public has four weeks to comment and two weeks to appeal a report from the assessment, before State and Federal environment ministers decide on the proposal using their legislations.

But both have to agree for the cull to be approved.