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Liberals Must Act on Feral Deer

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Tags: Deer, Invasive Species

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
“Feral deer are out of control in Tasmania and impacting on both farmers and the landscape. 

“The ‘Feral Deer Control: A Strategy for Tasmania’ report released by the Bob Brown Foundation and Invasive Species Council today demonstrates why it’s so important for the State Government to finally start treat feral deer as a pest, not a protected species.

“Feral deer are an incredibly destructive force in Tasmania’s landscape, and impact on Aboriginal heritage, the environment, and primary producers.

“But rather than trying to get their numbers under control, the Liberals have instead maintained the deer’s status as a protected species, and encouraged population growth to provide sport for hunters.

“It would be a disaster if deer become established in precious areas like the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, and that’s where we are headed under the Liberals’ current approach.

“This report shows that a plan to reduce the number of feral deer – and their impact – is achievable. The main obstacles for change are the shooting industry and the Liberal party who bend over backwards to do their bidding.

“The Greens commend the Bob Brown Foundation for commissioning this important work – work the government should have done a long time ago.

“It’s now time for the Liberals to act, and ensure our island’s environment and economy are protected from the ravages of destructive feral deer.”

Peter Whish-Wilson | Greens Senator for Tasmania
“A 2021 Senate Inquiry chaired by the Greens revealed the Tasmanian Government has been failing to halt the spread of this pest for the past decade, and federal intervention is now needed to help eradicate deer in Tasmania’s World Heritage Area and other biodiversity hotspots.
“It is an indictment on the Tasmanian Government that the state's natural environmental values, agricultural productivity, and cultural heritage are so badly impacted by politically motivated feral deer mismanagement. 
“The Senate Inquiry Report recognised the need for a zero tolerance approach to deer in Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area and biodiversity hotspots and listed a number of ways the Commonwealth can help achieve this.
“First, feral deer must be listed under EPBC law as a ‘threatening process’, which is something the Greens are working towards in Canberra. Once listed, the Federal Government is obliged to provide a threat abatement plan which would include Commonwealth funding for the control and eradication for feral deer. 
“Importantly this funding could also support research that explores more humane ways to controlling feral deer.”