Time for a grass fee for urban roo lovers?

Time for a grass fee for urban kangaroo lovers – or an army provided cull?


Opinion
With the prolonged dry conditions continuing, John Carter says something needs to be done now about the kangaroos which are competing with livestock for feed.

With the prolonged dry conditions continuing, John Carter says something needs to be done now about the kangaroos which are competing with livestock for feed.

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With the prolonged dry conditions continuing kangaroos are competing with livestock for feed. John Carter suggests a solution to solve the problem is either charge urban kangaroo lovers an agistment fee or have an army provided cull. What do you think?

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During the past few weeks the city media has discovered there is a drought in NSW.

Even Macquarie St and Canberra have now heard of it. NSW went from 30 per cent drought to 99pc in a week!

Retrospective freight subsidy was introduced to correct the mad 2013 decision to abandon the practice.

Even the Minister for Defence has suggested army help with transport.

I can suggest a more helpful use for her team - a huge kangaroo cull.

A humane and practical solution to a cruel disaster. The army must, of course, remember to wash the tyres of their vehicles between properties in accordance with biosecurity rules.

The NSW Commercial Harvest Management Plan estimated roo numbers in NSW dropped from 17.4 million in 2016 to 14.4m last year, and it would appear they have continued to drop further since.

From 2003 to 2009 in southern Australia’s drought, more than 30m kangaroos are estimated to have died of thirst, starvation or road kill. This catastrophe is now being repeated.

The slaughter quota and its uptake for kangaroo meat is negligible beside this carnage. 

In the 1990s the NSW Meat Industry Authority and Dr Paul Hopwood had carefully installed a system of licencing of vehicles and chillers to back the Bates brothers and others’ export initiatives. 

Our main export market, Russia, was removed by Canberra’s stupid support for the US sanctions on Russia.

Kangaroos have overrun Canberra and are giving a huge boost to panel beating and ambulance use. One has crossed the Harbour Bridge without a pass and another has hitched a free ferry ride.

From 1870 my great grandfather organised an annual kangaroo hunt on some of his country west of Moss Vale with the NSW Governor often present. 

Twenty to 30 horsemen with kangaroo dogs used to run down 70 to 100 kangaroos over two days.

Now, in 2018, we have more kangaroos than I have seen in 80 years. We have over 200 here on our 526 hectares.

The current cost to me in lost grass and increased handfeeding because of their invasion is around $3000 per month.

There are as many as 500 moving between my land and my neighbour’s so it is costing us over $7000 each month the drought continues.

If Australia has 70m kangaroos and half of them are on farms, we are looking at nearly $500m lost by livestock and grain producers every month - the same figure as the latest NSW “one off” relief package.

So, as the animal rights, Greens and unaffected city folk scream as a cull is announced, we can call for an alternative – an annual kangaroo agistment payment to farmers of $6 billion – perhaps attached to urban dwellers’ Medicare levy?

- By JOHN CARTER

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