Legislative Council: Wednesday, October 18, 2023


Aerial Culling

The Hon. H.M. GIROLAMO (15:10): I seek leave to give a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development regarding aerial deer culling.

Leave granted.

The Hon. H.M. GIROLAMO: In a freedom of information determination, it was revealed that a second near miss occurred three days after the well-known and publicised incident involving legal deer hunters. This time a worker was within the shot zone of the aerial culling helicopter. My questions to the minister are:

1. Has a separate investigation taken place and been completed in regard to the second incident, and what changes were made as a result of this investigation?

2. Are farmers, their workers and people in general in the South-East safe from this practise of aerial culling by your department?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:11): I thank the honourable member for her question. The incident that occurred, if I recall correctly, in March has been investigated and in this place I have referred to the changes in our procedures that related to some change in ownership that had not come to light. The change in procedures involves checking three different sources of data to ensure that the information is up to date.

Aerial deer culling is a well-recognised and successful method for trying to eradicate feral deer, which cause so much difficulty and destruction both to the environment and also to farmers and landholders. The committees that are associated with DEW are continuing to work very hard in terms of trying to eliminate and eradicate feral deer, an issue which I think the majority of landholders in the South-East, which is where this incident occurred, are very supportive of. They appreciate how damaging it is in terms of financial cost, as well as how damaging it is to the environment. If the honourable member has any additional information she would like specifics on, I am happy to take that on notice and provide additional information.