Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Environment spokesperson
The wombat deaths in Kelso in Northern Tasmania, as a result of an intentionally-lit gorse fire, are a tragic loss for the local wildlife population. Reports suggest 13 wombats have perished as a result their burrows being burnt and buried from the gorse-clearing exercise on privately owned land.
It’s a huge blow for the species, and the local community members, who were treating a number of them for Sarcoptic Mange now widespread in the adjoining Narawntapu National Park.
Minister Rockliff must immediately direct DPIPWE to investigate the fire, and subsequent deaths. Tasmanians need to know how many wombats were killed, and the exact circumstances surrounding it.
Wombats in this area of Tasmania are already in peril. The cause and effect of the fire must be investigated as a matter of priority and, if necessary, charges laid.
The local Kelso community are fighting to save the wombat population, and this type of occurrence is disastrous. It is simply unacceptable for these wombats, facing localised extinction, to be put at any further risk.
Wombat mange is having a devastating impact on this part of Tasmania, and it’s the local community who are stepping up to save the population. Every effort needs to be made to ensure wombats aren’t lost in the West Tamar, and the Liberals must take all steps to protect them.