News

Cull advocate’s second roo write-off in a year

by
April 02, 2018

Murray River Councillor Tom Weyrich hit a kangaroo while driving between Mathoura and Moama. Photo by Luke Hemer.

Tom Weyrich warned his Murray River Council colleagues in December that local kangaroo numbers were ‘‘threatening lives’’.

The Mathoura resident and kangaroo cull advocate now has another ‘near miss’ story after a scary run-in with a carcass on the Cobb Hwy on Monday night which almost sent his vehicle spinning into the trailer of a passing road train.

Cr Weyrich said a kangaroo carcass was hurled into his path by the first trailer of the road train, catching him by surprise and leaving him no room to avoid a collision.

‘‘The road train was coming towards me and it spat out this kangaroo from the front trailer — so I didn’t run into it, I ran over it.

‘‘It launched my car off the ground and had me headed towards the second trailer. It scared the bejesus out of me.

‘‘I tend to travel a lot at night because of my work and council commitments, and this is my third collision with a kangaroo in the past 12 months.

‘‘The car is a write-off — or close to it — and I had already written off one car in that 12 months.

‘‘Because the big dry is continuing, this is only going to get worse (with kangaroos seeking feed by the roadsides) and it’s only a matter of time before there is a more serious accident.’’

Cr Weyrich said his most recent ordeal only drives his desire to see increasing kangaroo populations thinned, particularly between Deniliquin and Moama.

At the Local Government NSW conference in December Cr Weyrich’s motion to call for an official numbers survey with the view of conducting selective culling was passed by majority.

His understanding was the motion would be forwarded to NSW Minister for Environment Gabrielle Upton with an expectation it would then be progressed or enacted.

Cr Weyrich said there had since been a lack of action, and that his near fatal accident this week should be the impetus for the NSW Government to act quickly.

‘‘I called Murray River general manager Des Bilske (Tuesday morning) to see where things were up to (with the motion), and as far as we know it is still sitting with the minister.

‘‘It has been almost four months and it is time we saw some action.’’

The Pastoral Times sought an update on the progress of Cr Weyrich’s motion from Ms Upton, whose office responded with: ‘‘The Minister will respond to the motion in due course.’’

Cr Weyrich said fuelling his frustration on the failure of authorities to see a cull as necessary for safety is the release of the documentary ‘Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story’, which criticises Australia’s classification of the ‘icon’ as ‘‘pests to be shot and sold for profit’’.

‘‘These people (the filmmaker and the scientists involved in the film) have no idea what it is like to live in a rural area.

‘‘It is a carefully choreographed selection of images that are meant to shock us.

‘‘We need to get this national icon image out of people’s heads — kangaroos can kill people and the propaganda (shared in this film) is disappointing.

‘‘The potential for a catastrophic car crash involving a kangaroo is increasing every day.’’

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