By Sally McGlew
THE viability of purchasing land for an animal refuge has been put to Council by Cr Charlie Zannino, from the Gidgegannup and Swan Ward.
Cr Zannino’s proposed motion was supported by the majority of councillors after being discussed in a motion about the displaced kangaroos in Brabham next to the Peet Development for a new housing estate.
Cr Zannino asked councillors to also consider an urgent and humane solution to save or relocate local wildlife including kangaroos displaced by the loss of habitat as the housing estate expands.
He also sought the temporary closure of Woolcott Avenue, west of Murray Road, West Swan to ensure the safety of wildlife and the residential community until a satisfactory plan can be actioned to minimise the danger to kangaroos and native fauna who are using the roadside to forage for food and being hit by cars.
Staff from the City of Swan have accepted an invitation to participate in a stakeholder group initiated by Peet in Brabham.
The group was formed to address the issue and also includes representatives from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), Wildlife Care WA and zoologists.
A spokesman for Peet said the company has undertaken an updated assessment of the food and water sources south of Youle-Dean Road with feedback that there is suitable water and food available to the animals.
Kangaroos displaced to Peet’s land between Youle-Dean Drive and Woolcott Avenue will be relocated back to the site south of Youle -Dean Drive.
For the relocation to the site on the southern side of Youle-Dean Drive, the road will have to be closed for a period of 24 hours to allow for a gradual less stressful process.
West Swan resident Jan Zeck said she is concerned the group are trying to shift a population into an area less than a quarter of the size of the area they have previously lived on.
“The kangaroos won’t discern a line on a map that delineates the Bush Forever Site from the rest of the airbase,” Mrs Zeck said.
“Unless the Bush Forever Site that is fenced off is monitored and maintained to exclude the kangaroos pushed onto the old airbase site, it will be irrevocably damaged.
“The site is incapable of supporting this number of kangaroos on a permanent or semi-permanent basis.”
Mrs Zeck said the Swan Urban Growth Corridor has been allowed to grow unchecked.
“Other native animals that lived there include reptiles, birds and small mammals,” she said.
“There are swamp hens, long necked tortoise, echidnas, bandicoots and phascogales that live in this area.”
Chief executive at Peet, Brendan Gore, said the company continued to work with a range of stakeholders.
“This includes City of Swan, DBCA, local fauna groups and wildlife experts, to manage all wildlife at the Brabham site,” Mr Gore said.
“We are not considering any additional measures such as those discussed at the recent City of Swan Council meeting.”
Mrs Zeck said the land had always been designated as Bush Reserve, with the State Government managing the area, until it was handed to the state housing authority.