Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee- Control of invasive animals on Crown land
20th June 2017- Mr O'Sullivan- I would also like to stand to make some brief comments in relation to the inquiry into the control of invasive animals on Crown land. It is a very detailed report. I came to the committee part way through the inquiry. I would certainly like to thank the other committee members and also the committee staff for the work that they did.
It is a very extensive report. The inquiry looked at a whole range of areas, but it is probably fair to say that in terms of a report into invasive animals, this report really only touches the surface because it mainly concentrates on deer. While we did look at the impact of some of the other invasive animals, this report does not go into detail in relation to the management of other pest animals such as rabbits, foxes, pigs and wild dogs.
In relation to deer, one thing that was very clear was that it is fair to say people who live in the built-up suburban areas do not have an understanding of the significant impact that deer are having in Victoria. The data that we have in relation to the prevalence of deer is flimsy at best — somewhere between 500 000 and 1 million; it could be more than that. The deer are mainly in the High Country, but they are starting to spread right across the whole of the state, with reports of sightings up around Swan Hill and certainly getting into the Grampians as well. These animals are certainly a pest and increasingly will become so into the future. There is a resourcing issue in terms of understanding exactly what we are dealing with with the deer, so there would be more resources required from government to understand it and more resources required for the Game Management Authority as well.
One of the things that concerned me was the legislative framework in terms of the management of invasive plants and animals. There are something like 25 different acts of Parliament which have to be adhered to in relation to trying to go about ridding this state of pest animals and weeds. It is bureaucracy gone absolutely mad, and it is something that we need to have a look at and try and simplify so we can get the job done.