CULLING kangaroos on Mount Panorama will not work, but a solution to the marsupials being in “plague proportion” is urgently needed, Bathurst Regional councillor Warren Aubin says.
During lap 88 of Sunday’s Bathurst 1000, a kangaroo was seen bounding up Mountain Straight, and while it did not jump onto the track, it did prompt a safety car.
Cr Aubin has called for an urgent solution to rid the Mount of kangaroos before they injure or kill a race driver.
“If one of these things do go through a windscreen and a driver ends up dead, that’s $85 million removed from our economy,” he said.
“If something does go diabolically wrong, we’ll lose our licence to race.”
In 2008, when council last culled kangaroos on Mount Panorama, Cr Aubin said he personally received 250 threatening and “abysmal” emails.
“Council will never [again] get a permit to cull through the National Parks and Wildlife Service,” he said.
Cr Aubin said more fencing should be erected around the inside and outside of the track, then the ’roos permanently moved from the centre of the track to outside the precinct.
Cr John Fry agreed there were too many kangaroos, but said they should be relocated further away.
He suggested council and businesses associated with motorsport should purchase a block of land, of a minimum 1000 hectares, within 30 minutes of Bathurst and relocate the Mount’s roos.
The land, Cr Fry said, should be fenced and used as a research facility and sanctuary for the approximate 500 kangaroos that are around the current track and the proposed Velocity Park precinct.
He said the Bathurst Kangaroo Project’s (BKP) relocation earlier this year had proved the animals could be relocated.
Mayor Graeme Hanger said no cull would be conducted, and current kangaroo management strategies of permanent and temporary fencing and monitoring were working.
“[There were] no incidents of kangaroos on the track during operational times recorded at this year's race or recent major events staged at the Mount,” he said.
Council spent $89,000 on the BKP’s relocation.