Waiting on deer management strategy

By Country News

State Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish is exasperated ««at the lack of response»» by how long it has taken the Federal Government to release its deer management strategy, which is now a year overdue.

Ms McLeish requested answers from former Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie in August 2019, as to why the strategy had not been released, after residents expressed growing concerns about escalating deer numbers and the damage they were causing.

“It has taken six months to receive a response from the minister,” Ms McLeish said.

“It will take another six months for the government to release the strategy management report.

“It will then take another six months to put plans into action and see results — this is beyond ridiculous.”

Senator McKenzie said the final deer management strategy would not be released until later this year.

The strategy has been in the works since 2018.

“I have complaints constantly from locals who are fed up with their crops, vineyards and gardens being destroyed,” Ms McLeish said.

“Even worse, are reports of illegal hunting.

“Residents can hear gun shots close by, spot light torches being shone into their homes and often find headless carcases left by the road.

“Something needs to be done and should have been done over six months ago.”

Australian Deer Association executive officer Barry Howlett said increasing deer numbers in Victoria were impacting agriculture and biodiversity in the region.

“We need a well-considered plan that takes into consideration the views of everyone in the community,” Mr Howlett said.

“We have been waiting over 12 months for a practical framework that identifies actions based on the greatest needs.”