Quotes attributable to the Hon. Mark Pearson, MLC
Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party NSW
“Last night’s 7:30 report has blown the lid off the kangaroo industry. Fixing this industry is impossible. We need a moratorium on all killing of kangaroos and we need it before it’s too late.”
“The NSW Government’s incompetence and arrogance has finally been exposed to a national audience, and compounded by the fact the Department didn’t even grant the ABC an interview.”
“It’s unconscionable the Department has been getting away with this for over 20 years. Matt Kean must act now or risk a legacy of complacency in the face of cruelty and localised extinctions of our nation’s iconic kangaroo.”
“At the very least we need an immediate moratorium on the killing of wallaroos in the Northern Tablelands and red kangaroos in the Western Plains, which were recommendations made in the draft report of the NSW kangaroo inquiry.”
Key points from the 7:30 report:
- Documents leaked to the ABC reveal the Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment’s own staff have voiced internal concerns about a lack of management and oversight of kangaroo culling
- A 2019 audit found it was impossible to work out the actual number of kangaroos being processed, and this could undermine the sustainability of the industry
- The Government’s own MP, Catherine Cusack, voiced strong concern over kangaroo population sustainability
- New footage shows a shot and dying kangaroo and her joey being dragged behind a ute
- DPIE declined an interview, and were previously called back to the NSW kangaroo inquiry for a second hearing after failing to provide adequate answers at their first hearing
7:30’s report and Mr Pearson’s comments come a few weeks after the NSW kangaroo inquiry tabled its final report.
After 15 years of investigating kangaroo ‘management’ in NSW and Australia, Mr Pearson was able to convince the Environment Committee, which he deputy chairs, to undertake the inquiry.
“The inquiry, together with empowered officers in the government department leaking critical documents, has delivered a bombshell expose,” Mr Pearson said.
The inquiry held hearings over three days and received over 400 submissions.
The report was tabled with six findings and 23 recommendations which call on the NSW Government to urgently establish three major investigations by the Auditor-General and the Natural Resources Commission.
The report calls on Environment Minister, Matt Kean, to refuse to approve the new 2022-2026 five-year Kangaroo Management Plan until the inquiry’s recommendations have been considered.
These recommendations include the Auditor-General investigating whether previous kangaroo management programs have adhered to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth).
“I know any such investigation will reveal extremely serious failures to prevent harm, distress and pain to hundreds of thousands of animals because of unregulated shooting and the brutal treatment of over half a million joeys each year,” Mr Pearson said at the time.
Another recommendation calls on the Natural Resources Commission to establish an independent panel of ecologists to examine previous methodologies used to calculate how many animals were to be slaughtered each year.
A key finding of the inquiry is that the NSW Government should give greater focus to demonstrating how Aboriginal concerns about kangaroo welfare and spiritual importance are being addressed in relation to the commercial kangaroo industry.
The inquiry recommended the Department engage in genuine consultation with Indigenous people regarding both the commercial and non-commercial killing of kangaroos, and ensure these views are given serious consideration in the development of all future kangaroo management plans.
It was also recommended that the NSW Government examine the economic benefits of kangaroo eco-tourism, and the impact of climate change on macropod wellbeing.