The NSW Government is being called back for a second hearing after failing to explain “biologically impossible” data and other concerns about kangaroo management at the NSW kangaroo inquiry.
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) were key witnesses of the inquiry into kangaroo health and wellbeing, but the committee – led by Chair Cate Faehrmann and Deputy Chair Mark Pearson – were not satisfied with the answers DPIE provided on the day.
DPIE could not explain key areas of concern including kangaroo population fluctuations, biology, kill quotas, or the methodologies used by the department.
“These numbers seem to indicate either the numbers are plucked out of thin air to justify [harvest] take, or it seems to indicate a gross mismanagement of kangaroos under this Government in terms of the commercial killing. Which one is it?” Greens MP and Chair of the committee Cate Faehrmann said at the initial hearing on June 15.
“We have received a great deal of very credible, robust scientific analyses of these figures and they are seriously in question,” NSW Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson told DPIE on the day.
“I need to point out to you the importance of getting these figures correct. If you haven’t, your department is authorising the killing of animals in a breach of possibly three pieces of legislation.“
DPIE had four witnesses give evidence on June 15, but failed to bring their “kangaroo expert” to the inquiry.
The decision to call the government back for further questioning comes after crucial evidence was given by ecologist Ray Mjadwesch and biostatistician Claire Galea who raised concerns about the “large-scale misrepresentation” and “artificial inflation” of kangaroo numbers used to justify kill quotas and harvest numbers.
Mr Mjadwesch and Ms Galea also raised concerns about the DPIE’s “biologically impossible” population data, with one population jumping by 400% in one year despite the maximum kangaroo reproduction rate being 10% per year.
Mr Mjadwesch also demonstrated to the inquiry that the government’s own data shows a 98.5% decrease in kangaroos in one region where the government has continued to allow shooting to continue.
The DPIE’s second hearing will take place on Thursday, August 19 from 11am to 1pm and will be broadcast live from NSW Parliament’s website.
Video footage of key evidence is hyperlinked.
Media contact: Elena Wewer – 0428 444 132