Still no answers
State Liberal Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish continues to push for the release of the State Governments deer management strategy, as urgent action needs to be taken to control the deer population in the region.
Ms McLeish said, “It is disappointing that the seriousness of the situation has not hit home with responsible ministers and departments.”
“Deer have a negative impact on agriculture by eating and destroying farmers crops and vineyards. I don’t think the State Labor Government fully understands what this means for the region.”
There have been too many vehicle collisions with deer, causing major accidents and threatening lives. Illegal hunting is also regularly taking place in the region. As the deer population increases, they become easier to hunt. Carcases are often left to rot or be eaten by wild dogs.
It is estimated that there are between 750,00 to 1 million deer across the state.
Ms McLeish raised the issue again with the Minister for Environment who blamed the delayed finalisation and release date of the strategy on the current COVID-19 pandemic and bushfires that took place early this year.
Ms McLeish continues, “There has been no visible progress on the deer management strategy since October 2018, so I think it is unfair the State Labor Government is blaming the delay on the pandemic and bushfires.”
The State Labor Government has so far failed to publish the summary response of public consultation held in 2018, draft and finalise the strategy or secure an exact release date.
This delay allows deer to roam freely throughout parks and forests. Government agencies and Councils have undertaken small scale deer control however not enough to have a large-scale impact. Deer may be legally culled if on private land at the landowner’s expense.
“Deer populate vast areas in the region from Nillumbik through to Murrindindi and Mansfield. Action needs to be taken,” Ms McLeish concludes.