Culling call

The Natural Resources Committee’s recommendation to cull a range of overabundant species – including kangaroos and little corellas – in order to protect the State’s biodiversity puts the Government in a difficult position.
The committee heard the number of kangaroos in the Hills was double sustainable levels while many local communities have been battling corella problems for decades.
It also heard abundant numbers of koalas and fur seals were damaging natural landscapes in other areas of the State.
Its report suggests the Government must reduce the number of kangaroos and corellas by killing them.
That puts the Government in an unenviable position: it will either have to kill the animals – causing community vexation (and political pain) but environmental gain – or ignore the recommendation to please the community, hoping the problem goes away.
It is a difficult decision with possible lose/lose outcomes, but that is the reality of being in government.
Sometimes tough decisions have to be made and true leadership must come to the fore.
The decision will show the Government’s value of public perception over pragmatism.
The fact is that the numbers of these species are too high, a situation partially brought about through human influences.
Clearing land and increasing watering points has made ideal kangaroo and corella habitat and the current boom in kangaroo numbers is a partial reflection of that.
Kangaroo overgrazing destroys the habitats of a variety of other species while corellas cause widespread annoyance and damage to both natural and urban environments.
Local councils have undertaken a range of confusing, expensive and problem-shifting programs in attempts to combat corellas over the years with limited success.
It must be remembered that it is legal to shoot both corellas and kangaroos (the latter with a permit) and thousands of the marsupials are killed every year in remote parts of SA for human consumption.
However, encouraging more widespread killing through the peri-urban areas of the Hills is a different matter again.
The ball is in the Government’s court and the decision will be watched with interest.