Deniliquin panel beaters say there has been an increase in kangaroo-damaged vehicles, reigniting the kanagaroo cull debate.ZOE MCMAUGH July 11, 2014 3:10am
Deniliquin’s panel beaters are quoting on kangaroo-damaged vehicles at least two and sometimes three times each week.
Requests have increased this past month, according to all three local businesses, with one panel beater saying he has at least two kangaroo repair jobs ‘‘on the go’’ each week.
The startling kangaroo collision figures have raised new concerns about driver safety and reignited the controversial kangaroo cull debate.
Riverina Panels owner Tony Jarvis said kangaroos were breeding in large numbers, which is costing drivers.
‘‘It’s been pretty bad since the drought broke,’’ Mr Jarvis said.
‘‘They’re breeding up and the shooters just aren’t shooting them anymore because the bounty price has dropped.
‘‘The damage kangaroos cause is upwards of $2000 to fix – you’d be lucky to get out of it for less than that.
‘‘This week I gave a quote for $8000, with damage to the front and side of the car.’’
Deni Paint ‘n’ Panel owner Will Calagaz said his highest quote this week was for $13,000, which included resetting of airbags.
Mr Calagaz said the average cost for a driver who had hit a ‘roo was about $5000.
All business owners reported dawn and dusk as the worst periods for kangaroos, but said all periods of dark posed a risk.
Shane Mann from King’s Panel Works said wet winters were not normally known for increased kangaroo numbers, saying he believes forest flooding is forcing them to the roadside.
Mr Mann said autumn was usually worst, with kangaroos moving around more after the dry summer in search of food.
Panel beaters say the stretch between Deniliquin and Echuca is particularly bad for kangaroos, but that it’s a problem everywhere.
Murray Shire Mayor Tom Weyrich has been calling on authorities to consider a kangaroo cull for more than a year, and says it’s time for his requests to be taken seriously before there are more human casualties.
‘‘In May a Moama man died in a car crash at Toolleen which has been directly linked to a kangaroo – it’s unacceptable to keep avoiding this issue,’’ he said.
‘‘What the authorities need to realise is that every time a car is damaged, there is a risk someone could be seriously injured.
‘‘I have been calling for a cull for a long time and there has been no progress; once again the state government is very slow to react.
‘‘How many more ways can I tell them? I’ve said it before – we are playing Russian roulette with people’s lives if we don’t do something about the kangaroos.’’
Cr Weyrich said he knows his recommended solution is unpopular, having received numerous letters from animal groups and animal lovers berating him. But he says human lives are more important.
‘‘I got one letter from a woman in London, England asking why we would kill our national emblem, but people don’t realise that our national emblem is killing us.
‘‘We need a controlled cull. It is probably the only sensible solution.’’
Other potential solutions could include building a fence around the Murray Valley National Park, which the business owners and Cr Weyrich agreed would be unsightly and too costly.
An increased bounty on shooting kangaroos has also been floated, but Cr Weyrich questioned whether it would be enough.
Mr Jarvis said he did not necessarily believe a cull was the way to go, but said education was the key until a solution can be found.
‘‘I think kangaroos are just out there, and they’re always going to be. People need to take a bit more care and go a bit slower.’’
NSW Environment & Heritage survey figures released last year indicated an increase of more than one million kangaroos in 12 months – from 700,388 grey kangaroos in the Griffith area, which includes Deniliquin, in 2012 and 1,780,269 in 2013.
Emergency services attended a crash on Shepparton-Barmah Rd.
Yarrawonga’s Bre Elliott played the most “consistent golf of her life” over three days to win the Fuccillo Kia Championship at Capital Hills by carding a 2-under 69 on the final day.
Heather Donaldson was re-elected president of Tatura Hospital Ladies Auxiliary at the annual general meeting on Thursday, which was attended by 33 people.
Detectives from the Sexual Crimes Squad have taken over the investigation into a female jogger who went missing in the One Tree Hill area on Wednesday.
THE 2015 National Blood Donor Week festivities will make the Rochester region Victoria’s new red light district.
Community workshop to consider issues to help form Campaspe digital strategy
Heather Stamp brings a long experience of the Salvation Army to Seymour.
Berrigan Shire Council have approved a development application for six more independent living units to add to Berrigan’s Amaroo Self Care Unit block.
THEY may be a familiar sight across the Heathcote district, but some of the much-loved birds in the region are in decline.
It was a field of emerald at the Soroptimist International of Cobram Barooga’s annual lunch on Friday, where diners enjoyed the craic at the Irish-themed event.
Deniliquin and district boasted two major winners at the Australian Sheep and Wool Expo at Bendigo from July 17 to 19.
Riverine Plains is set to hold the first in its series of farm walks for the 2015 season as part of its research into stubble retained cropping systems.
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