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Tuesday, 1 April 1980
Page: 1245


Senator MULVIHILL (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Science and the Environment. By way of preface I refer to the national drought and the competition for vegetation by stock, kangaroos and other wildlife. I ask the Minister three specific questions. First, can he give us an assurance that there is close liaison with the relevant State authorities by the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service to ensure that, bad though the situation is, advantage will not be taken by some States- I am thinking of Queensland in particular- to decimate the rarer species of kangaroos in the general culling out process? Secondly, what are we doing about the real danger which exists as far as the despoilation of vegetation by certain animals is concerned? What are we doing to eliminate the massive goat herds, goats being hooved animals? Finally, what role does the Minister see the Army playing in transporting water to drought affected areas?


Senator CHANEY - I understand from the Minister for Science and the Environment that there is close liaison between the Commonwealth and the States on the matter raised by Senator Mulvihill- namely, the preservation of kangaroos and similar species- and that close liaison will continue to be maintained between the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service and similar State and Territory services with a view to ensuring that the rarer kangaroo species are not placed at further risk. The rarer species about which Senator Mulvihill is concerned are fully protected and are not subject to commercial harvesting. The factor mentioned does not arise.

The control of feral animals such as goats is the responsibility of State and Territory authorities. If circumstances require I expect that the Army would give sympathetic consideration to any request for assistance with transportation of water although it is not a role in which I have ever heard the Army being involved in the past.


Senator MULVIHILL - I wish to ask a supplementary question. I think that the Minister missed the main thrust of my question. The Minister for Science and the Environment chairs quarterly meetings of State and Commonwealth conservation Ministers. Surely the question of goat elimination should be on the agenda so that co-ordinated action can be taken by all States.


Senator CHANEY - I will refer what really amounts to a suggestion to the Minister for Science and the Environment for his consideration.







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