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Skippy lovers keep the cull in court

By 12 June 2013 43

TAMS brings word that their cull remains tied up in the Following an ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) hearing today, Territory and Municipal and won’t be heard until mid July.

Following an ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) hearing today, Territory and Municipal Services will delay the commencement of the conservation cull. This is to allow time for the Tribunal to consider the merits of the Conservator’s decision to issue licences to Territory and Municipal Services for the purposes of undertaking a conservation cull of 1455 eastern grey kangaroos at seven reserves.

“It is important to understand that the outcome today was not about the science that supports the conservation cull,” said Daniel Iglesias, Director, ACT Parks and Conservation.

“The finding today established that the parties have standing for the Tribunal to hear the case for and against the issuing of the licences to undertake the conservation cull. The next hearing will be held on 8 and 9 July 2013.

With a pretty tight window to conduct the cull all the protestors need to do now is keep it in front of the tribunal.

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43 Responses to Skippy lovers keep the cull in court
#1
jase!6:24 pm, 12 Jun 13

facepalm

if my car hits one of the skippys that was due for a high velocity lead injection can I sue this annoying bunch of victorian blow ins?

#2
Antagonist6:58 pm, 12 Jun 13

Using the slow beat of the bureacratic drum to beat the bureacracy. Genius tactics :)

#3
FreddyVegan7:41 pm, 12 Jun 13

FANTASTIC NEWS!

#4
Pork Hunt9:33 pm, 12 Jun 13

FreddyVegan said :

FANTASTIC NEWS!

Why don’t you people protest every burn off. Surely innocent critters die in the flames…

#5
Aeek9:39 pm, 12 Jun 13

Yes, animals devastating the environment then dying of starvation is so good if YOU ARE EVIL

#6
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd10:39 pm, 12 Jun 13

FreddyVegan said :

FANTASTIC NEWS!

Why are you so happy for roos to breed more than is sustainable then either die slowly from starvation or wander into the suburbs and get killed by cars or dogs?

Freddy vegan, do you enjoy seeing a poor roo with a broken body doing slow spasms in a pool of blood on the side of the road?

#7
bundah11:01 pm, 12 Jun 13

Honey will you dust off the AK-47 coz I got me some cullin’ to do and it ain’t roos this time :)

#8
c_c™11:08 pm, 12 Jun 13

FreddyVegan said :

FANTASTIC NEWS!

A wonderful example of ideological dementia.

#9
IrishPete11:11 pm, 12 Jun 13

I seem to have inadvertently missed the use by date of the other thread, so I’ll restate my comments here:

“What I love most (not) about the kangaroo cull (aka the roo massacre) is that it comes around every year, just like Christmas. In fact it is Groundhog Day all over again, but with added bullets.

Every year everyone trots out the same tired old arguments for the cull, and the same tired old arguments against the cull. Frankly, none of them are particularly credible. The ACT Government’s “science” and concern for grass and little critters is a little undermined by the ongoing bulldozer of development and human population growth (and their preference for spending money on bullets over controlling weeds, as eloquently pointed out by an earlier poster).

Yet the animal rights folks’ arguments are undermined by their general, err, sorry, nuttiness.

Perhaps one day someone will make an honest objective assessment of the situation. I had kinda hoped that ShaneR would, but perhaps next year.

For this year, vale Skippy, I hope you are reincarnated as something more protected, or bulletproof – or maybe as a bullbar.

IP

Obviously the last sentence is a little out of date now, or premature at least…

IP

#10
Diggety12:54 am, 13 Jun 13

IrishPete said :

I seem to have inadvertently missed the use by date of the other thread, so I’ll restate my comments here:

“What I love most (not) about the kangaroo cull (aka the roo massacre) is that it comes around every year, just like Christmas. In fact it is Groundhog Day all over again, but with added bullets.

Every year everyone trots out the same tired old arguments for the cull, and the same tired old arguments against the cull. Frankly, none of them are particularly credible. The ACT Government’s “science” and concern for grass and little critters is a little undermined by the ongoing bulldozer of development and human population growth (and their preference for spending money on bullets over controlling weeds, as eloquently pointed out by an earlier poster).

Yet the animal rights folks’ arguments are undermined by their general, err, sorry, nuttiness.

Perhaps one day someone will make an honest objective assessment of the situation. I had kinda hoped that ShaneR would, but perhaps next year.

For this year, vale Skippy, I hope you are reincarnated as something more protected, or bulletproof – or maybe as a bullbar.

IP

Obviously the last sentence is a little out of date now, or premature at least…

IP

Why do you place the ACT Governments science in inverted commas, IP?

#11
Roundhead891:15 am, 13 Jun 13

FreddyVegan said :

FANTASTIC NEWS!

Certainly fantastic news for the manufacturers of Shu-Roo and the auto-electric shop in Phillip because I’ve just been on the phone getting a quote.

#12
MrBigEars8:23 am, 13 Jun 13

IrishPete said :

I seem to have inadvertently missed the use by date of the other thread, so I’ll restate my comments here:

“What I love most (not) about the kangaroo cull (aka the roo massacre) is that it comes around every year, just like Christmas. In fact it is Groundhog Day all over again, but with added bullets.

Every year everyone trots out the same tired old arguments for the cull, and the same tired old arguments against the cull. Frankly, none of them are particularly credible. The ACT Government’s “science” and concern for grass and little critters is a little undermined by the ongoing bulldozer of development and human population growth (and their preference for spending money on bullets over controlling weeds, as eloquently pointed out by an earlier poster).

Yet the animal rights folks’ arguments are undermined by their general, err, sorry, nuttiness.

Perhaps one day someone will make an honest objective assessment of the situation. I had kinda hoped that ShaneR would, but perhaps next year.

For this year, vale Skippy, I hope you are reincarnated as something more protected, or bulletproof – or maybe as a bullbar.

IP

Obviously the last sentence is a little out of date now, or premature at least…

IP

I’m curious as to what part of the ‘science’ you don’t agree with, because if you don’t like it because it doesn’t give you the answer you agree with, then you probably won’t like any assessment that doesn’t agree, either. If you don’t like the science, you do more science. You don’t wave you hands in the air and say “I saw some grass once, everything is fine.”

Maybe you do, it has certainly worked for climate change deniers. Maybe scientists need a lobby group.

#13
tim_c11:11 am, 13 Jun 13

Roundhead89 said :

Certainly fantastic news for the manufacturers of Shu-Roo and the auto-electric shop in Phillip because I’ve just been on the phone getting a quote.

I wouldn’t bother – most people I’ve heard from didn’t bother to replace their Shu-Roo after the first installation was destroyed by a kangaroo strike. I drove for a coach company that trialed a Shu-Roo on one of their coaches – I never had so many kangaroos jump in front of me before or since, and it was almost invariably when I was driving that coach, with the Shu-Roo switched on.

#14
Antagonist12:58 pm, 13 Jun 13

IrishPete said :

Every year everyone trots out the same tired old arguments for the cull, and the same tired old arguments against the cull. Frankly, none of them are particularly credible. The ACT Government’s “science” and concern for grass and little critters is a little undermined by the ongoing bulldozer of development and human population growth (and their preference for spending money on bullets over controlling weeds, as eloquently pointed out by an earlier poster).

As an environmental scientist myself, I would love to hear your credible version of the ACT Government’s “science”.

#15
IrishPete4:59 pm, 13 Jun 13

Re: science – there are a few reasons i am dubious.

Firstly, I have worked in other areas of the ACT government and have never seen anyone do any research, or use research findings knowledgeably. I have seen research commissioned which was rubbish design and, not surprisingly came up with rubbish findings. The ACT government is probably too small, or at least its potential researchers are distributed too widely around different small departments, to do any better than that.

Secondly, there are a number of non-nutty objectors out there who have credible criticisms of the population counts. I am not expert enough to judge for myself, so i’m going to give them a little bit of credence. This is not like climate change, where it’s about 99% to 1% and the qualifications of many of the one percent are barely relevant.

Thirdly, no objective research on threatened plants and little criters could possibly rank kangaroos as a greater threat than human population (particularly the inexorable expansion of suburbs) and intoruduced anmals and plants (sheep, cattle, rabbits, foxes). Credible research needs to examine the cost effectivness of different options – would 200k per year be more effective in protecting plants and critters by being spent on weed control, rabbit control, getting rid of sheep or issuing free condoms? Does shooting kangaroos just give the rabbit population a free kick?

If someone would like to point me to the research that addresses these questions, i am happy to read it. In the meantime i remain supicious that kangaroos are the easy targets (pun intended) because they jump in front of cars, so many people will support something they think may make driving safer and reduce their insurance or uninsured costs.

IP

#16
Ronald_Coase5:18 pm, 13 Jun 13

Pork Hunt said :

FreddyVegan said :

FANTASTIC NEWS!

Why don’t you people protest every burn off. Surely innocent critters die in the flames…

Because that would require a logical mind, perhaps?

#17
Diggety8:31 pm, 13 Jun 13

IP, you haven’t critiqued any science in your response – indeed you haven’t even refered to any. I’m not sure you’re aware of where science begins and ends, and it appears you haven’t read or understood the science you are disagreeing with.

IrishPete said :

Firstly, I have worked in other areas of the ACT government and have never seen anyone do any research, or use research findings knowledgeably. I have seen research commissioned which was rubbish design and, not surprisingly came up with rubbish findings. The ACT government is probably too small, or at least its potential researchers are distributed too widely around different small departments, to do any better than that.

First, I doubt your personal experiences are relevant to the validity of the science you are objecting to. You have not identified the research in question, you’ve only given hearsay evidence on unrelated activities by organisations which are unlikely to have conducted the research we are discussing.

Second, you need to be able to understand the difference between science and policy. If research findings are published, then subsequently utilized in a poor manner like you claim, that does not mean the science is dubious – it means the interpretation is poor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Policy

IrishPete said :

Secondly, there are a number of non-nutty objectors out there who have credible criticisms of the population counts. I am not expert enough to judge for myself, so i’m going to give them a little bit of credence.

There is no point claiming there are credible criticisms of the population counts without sharing them with the rest of us. And like you say, you’re no expert judge on the matter. So when you do hear contradictory population counts, make sure they pass some sort of rigorous evaluation – a process the science you are disputing had to undertake.

IrishPete said :

Thirdly, no objective research on threatened plants and little criters could possibly rank kangaroos as a greater threat than human population (particularly the inexorable expansion of suburbs) and intoruduced anmals and plants (sheep, cattle, rabbits, foxes). Credible research needs to examine the cost effectivness of different options – would 200k per year be more effective in protecting plants and critters by being spent on weed control, rabbit control, getting rid of sheep or issuing free condoms? Does shooting kangaroos just give the rabbit population a free kick?

1. Are you certain this research hasn’t been done?
2. Would the results of these studies invalidate the science your disagreeing with? (Think carefully on this one)

Some suggestions:
- Read the science the government are relying on, if you need help understanding it – contact someone in the relevant discipline
- Try to distinguish betwee science and opinion/policy/hearsay, etc. Modern science has a rigorous set of processes to achieve acceptance, opinions do not.
- Provide links for the alternative view. Otherwise it comes across as “my mate said…”.

#18
crappicker9:34 pm, 13 Jun 13

The ACT Kangaroo Management Plan 2010, appendix 3, p 151, specifically states for the Wanniassa Hills nature reserve that, relevant to the kangaroo mangement plan, no threatened species were identified.

What then was the justification for last year’s slaughter of 58 females, 44 males and an unspecified number of joeys in the Wanniassa Hills reserve? What possibly was the justification to originally list this reserve again this year for a proposed cull of 400 kangaroos?

#19
crappicker10:32 pm, 13 Jun 13

The ACT Kangaroo management plan 2010, appendix 6, p 155, lists the estimated kangaroo population for the Wanniassa Hills nature reserve as 309 for 2009. For 2013 the ACT government ecologists have estimated the Wanniassa Hills kangaroo population at 1133.
Taking into account the 102 kangaroos slaughtered in 2012, an increase from 309 to 1133 would mean a population increase of 43%, year after year, and an even higher rate of increase if natural deaths and road deaths over that four year period are taken into account.

Ray Mjadwesch, an experienced kangaroo ecologist, argues that a yearly 9-11% population increase is reasonable for eastern grey kangaroos, a 30% increase is possible under exceptionally good seasonal conditions, but that reported populated growth rates over 20% seem biologically unlikely.
http://www.kangaroosatrisk.net/3-counting-kangaroos.html

Perhaps the ACT government ecologists can do with an abacus.

#20
JoeRivett11:13 pm, 13 Jun 13

IrishPete said :

Re: science – there are a few reasons i am dubious.

Firstly, I have worked in other areas of the ACT government and have never seen anyone do any research, or use research findings knowledgeably. I have seen research commissioned which was rubbish design and, not surprisingly came up with rubbish findings. The ACT government is probably too small, or at least its potential researchers are distributed too widely around different small departments, to do any better than that.

Secondly, there are a number of non-nutty objectors out there who have credible criticisms of the population counts. I am not expert enough to judge for myself, so i’m going to give them a little bit of credence. This is not like climate change, where it’s about 99% to 1% and the qualifications of many of the one percent are barely relevant.

Thirdly, no objective research on threatened plants and little criters could possibly rank kangaroos as a greater threat than human population (particularly the inexorable expansion of suburbs) and intoruduced anmals and plants (sheep, cattle, rabbits, foxes). Credible research needs to examine the cost effectivness of different options – would 200k per year be more effective in protecting plants and critters by being spent on weed control, rabbit control, getting rid of sheep or issuing free condoms? Does shooting kangaroos just give the rabbit population a free kick?

If someone would like to point me to the research that addresses these questions, i am happy to read it. In the meantime i remain supicious that kangaroos are the easy targets (pun intended) because they jump in front of cars, so many people will support something they think may make driving safer and reduce their insurance or uninsured costs.

IP

There is a good video on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS8pEpT7kow) done by non-government organisation Friends of Mount Majura. The time lapse photographs show the destruction of grasslands by both kangaroos and rabbits. The conclusions show the significant damage that both these species can exact on the habitat. The whole study can be found here: http://majura.org/explaining-change/

The damage to these grasslands is happening in nature reserves where human population (particularly the inexorable expansion of suburbs) is not a factor. The over grazing by kangaroos appears to cause much greater damage that the introduced animals and plants (sheep, cattle, rabbits, foxes). Note there is no grazing of sheep and cattle in nature reserves. The government also has a pest management program to get rid of rabbits and foxes. The rabbit program is run in conjunction with many community groups. And money (including extra in the last budget) has been allocated to weed management for a number of years.

You are entitled to your opinion and being able to the question government is a wonderful part of not living in North Korea. Your remarks smack of someone who has made up their mind without really seeking to understand all the issues.

The fact that a greens minister has concluded that the cull is necessary would make you think that at least he has gone and looked properly into the science. Have you?

#21
Postalgeek9:25 am, 14 Jun 13

JoeRivett said :

The damage to these grasslands is happening in nature reserves where human population (particularly the inexorable expansion of suburbs) is not a factor. The over grazing by kangaroos appears to cause much greater damage that the introduced animals and plants (sheep, cattle, rabbits, foxes). Note there is no grazing of sheep and cattle in nature reserves. The government also has a pest management program to get rid of rabbits and foxes. The rabbit program is run in conjunction with many community groups. And money (including extra in the last budget) has been allocated to weed management for a number of years.

One correction. I observed sheep in the Symonston grassland reserve just recently. I’m guessing at least one reserve is probably under-grazed now that they’ve disrupted the traditional grazing practices and put up kangaroo-proof fencing.

#22
EvanJames12:13 pm, 14 Jun 13

JoeRivett said :

And money (including extra in the last budget) has been allocated to weed management for a number of years.

They can allocate money in the budget til the cows come home, weed “management” in the ACT is a non-existent joke. To the extent that, where they carefully vandalised all the willows in the upper Molonglo, they left the extensive growths of blackberries! But all the St Johns Wort in summer sure is pretty, makes the ACT non-urban areas look so yellow. And don’t get me started on their utter failure re African Lovegrass, one of the worst weed threats in SE NSW. They’re practically farming the stuff.

#23
IrishPete8:14 pm, 14 Jun 13

Another occasion when the comments of other posters make me want to play the man and not the ball, but I shall try to remain strong. I know the difference between policy and research, because I’ve been a producer of both. Diggety critiques me for not mentioning any science (e.g. providing links) but fails to do so his/herself. I have never seen any significant research capacity in the ACT Government, which is why I doubt the ability of the environment and parks directorates to produce good research. Or even commission it.

The Kangaroo Research page on the ACT environment directorate’s website does not include any reports. It describes research being conducted, but does not report the findings. The Kangaroo Management Plan was published in 2010 – do I need to mention the word drought?

As an experienced and expert researcher, I can tell you that research needs to pass the “common sense test” aka face validity. If the research or policy is silent on human population growth, and on the consequent displacement of kangaroos (which are mobile), then it has failed the common sense test. (Sometimes the “common sense test” is invalid, but is it in this case?)

Joe Rivett refers me to a video of the effects of kangaroos and rabbits on Mt Majura. Interestingly the TAMS website describes this as the effect of kangaroos (no mention of rabbits). Which is correct?

TAMS quotes the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment from 2009 (need I mention drought again?) which is kind of like referring to yourself, since that’s another ACT government position:
“There is an urgent need for land management actions to be undertaken to protect the 60% of the Territory’s lowland native grassland sites that are currently in a critical condition or approaching this state. The threatening processes that have caused the demise of the grassland sites include weeds, inappropriate mowing regimes, overgrazing by stock, Eastern Grey Kangaroos and rabbits”.

Roos are just one of a list of causes – I revert again to the position, is this the best way to spend $200,000+?. And the exclusion (again) of human population growth also means this statement is incomplete (note the word “include” – presumably this means “I wasn’t allowed to mention humans)”.

So in summary, I would love to read the relevant research but it appears not to be published. The Kangaroo Management Plan (dated 2010) is not a research document, it is a policy document – an idiot can work out that a document titled “Kangaroo Management Plan” is unlikely to conclude “we don’t need to”.

I have no connection with the ACT Government, nor any of the protest groups. From the tone of some of the other comments, I’d be interested to see if other posters can say the same.

IP

#24
RadioVK12:09 am, 15 Jun 13

IrishPete said :

I have never seen any significant research capacity in the ACT Government, which is why I doubt the ability of the environment and parks directorates to produce good research. Or even commission it.

I can tell you from personal experience that there is a number of signifigant research projects being undertaken in the Mulligans flat Woodland Sanctuary, including the introduction of a population of Eastern Bettongs. I just happened to be doing some work in the sanctuary and had the oportunity to see some of the work they were doing first hand.

Granted, the research is being undertaken by a university (UNSW I think), rather than the government. But it is being done with the co-operation of Parks and Wildlife.

I don’t doubt your assesment of the government’s ability to do their own research, as you sound like you’re speaking from experience, but saying that there is no credible research being done at all is just plain wrong.

I’d also like to follow your example at this point and say that I have nothing to do with the ACT Government, or any protest group.

#25
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd12:28 am, 15 Jun 13

IrishPete said :

Another occasion when the comments of other posters make me want to play the man and not the ball, but I shall try to remain strong. I know the difference between policy and research, because I’ve been a producer of both. Diggety critiques me for not mentioning any science (e.g. providing links) but fails to do so his/herself. I have never seen any significant research capacity in the ACT Government, which is why I doubt the ability of the environment and parks directorates to produce good research. Or even commission it.

The Kangaroo Research page on the ACT environment directorate’s website does not include any reports. It describes research being conducted, but does not report the findings. The Kangaroo Management Plan was published in 2010 – do I need to mention the word drought?

As an experienced and expert researcher, I can tell you that research needs to pass the “common sense test” aka face validity. If the research or policy is silent on human population growth, and on the consequent displacement of kangaroos (which are mobile), then it has failed the common sense test. (Sometimes the “common sense test” is invalid, but is it in this case?)

Joe Rivett refers me to a video of the effects of kangaroos and rabbits on Mt Majura. Interestingly the TAMS website describes this as the effect of kangaroos (no mention of rabbits). Which is correct?

TAMS quotes the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment from 2009 (need I mention drought again?) which is kind of like referring to yourself, since that’s another ACT government position:
“There is an urgent need for land management actions to be undertaken to protect the 60% of the Territory’s lowland native grassland sites that are currently in a critical condition or approaching this state. The threatening processes that have caused the demise of the grassland sites include weeds, inappropriate mowing regimes, overgrazing by stock, Eastern Grey Kangaroos and rabbits”.

Roos are just one of a list of causes – I revert again to the position, is this the best way to spend $200,000+?. And the exclusion (again) of human population growth also means this statement is incomplete (note the word “include” – presumably this means “I wasn’t allowed to mention humans)”.

So in summary, I would love to read the relevant research but it appears not to be published. The Kangaroo Management Plan (dated 2010) is not a research document, it is a policy document – an idiot can work out that a document titled “Kangaroo Management Plan” is unlikely to conclude “we don’t need to”.

I have no connection with the ACT Government, nor any of the protest groups. From the tone of some of the other comments, I’d be interested to see if other posters can say the same.

IP

Science, Pete, science.
It is up to you to prove the science is wrong, not the other way around.

#26
RadioVK12:32 am, 15 Jun 13

Correction, It was ANU, not UNSW.

http://www.mfgowoodlandexperiment.org.au/index.html

#27
what_the12:01 pm, 15 Jun 13

Opponents of the cull – why do you think the govt actually goes through with the cull despite the protests? It obviously doesn’t score political points and it gets negative media both here and abroad. Why cop the flak unless they thought it absolutely necessary?

#28
Mr Evil4:36 pm, 15 Jun 13

The ACT Government is really reliable with statistics and data – after all, they make them up all the time……

#29
IrishPete8:10 am, 17 Jun 13

Science relies on the null hypothesis. In fact it is for the proponents of the cull to prove it is necessary. Given the absence of any science on the ACT Government’s relevant websites, there is an arguable case that they haven’t done so. It doesn’t matter who is doing research, if it is not being published (and publishing in inaccessible academic journals in a few years doesn’t cut the mustard when the issue is current public policy, not the future academic careers of the researchers).

As for why the ACT Government would go ahead with a cull if the science didn’t support it, this a) shows a touchingly naive global trust in government and b) I would refer you to such initiatives as amateur hunting in National Parks in NSW. Shane Rattenbury may be the relevant ACT Minister but he is only one of 9 government MPs.

IP

#30
Diggety2:12 pm, 17 Jun 13

IrishPete said :

Science relies on the null hypothesis. In fact it is for the proponents of the cull to prove it is necessary. Given the absence of any science on the ACT Government’s relevant websites, there is an arguable case that they haven’t done so. It doesn’t matter who is doing research, if it is not being published (and publishing in inaccessible academic journals in a few years doesn’t cut the mustard when the issue is current public policy, not the future academic careers of the researchers).

As for why the ACT Government would go ahead with a cull if the science didn’t support it, this a) shows a touchingly naive global trust in government and b) I would refer you to such initiatives as amateur hunting in National Parks in NSW. Shane Rattenbury may be the relevant ACT Minister but he is only one of 9 government MPs.

IP

Best get back to us if/when you’ve read the science.

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