Tag Archives: Craig Thomson

Boneo kangaroos “culled” by “fresh food” suppliers

Eastern Grey Kangaroos killed at Boneo.

On the early evening of Tuesday the 26 of May, the tranquil peace at Boneo was broken by the sounds of over 100 gun shots ringing out.
The farm responsible for carrying out these shots was carrying out a kangaroo cull. However in order to carry out the cull they had to trespass on Melbourne water land to get the kangaroos back on the farm.

(image 1.1 photo by Craig Thomson)
As you can see in image 1.1 there is no available food on the farm as it has been cleared (cleared very recently in fact). The tree line behind the cleared land is Melbourne Water land where the kangaroo are seeking refuge.
A couple of witnesses have claimed that they saw dogs released onto the adjoining Melbourne water land to chase the kangaroos back on the farm where they could shoot them. Unfortunately 2 young joeys didn’t make it off the Melbourne Water land as they were killed by the dogs.
It is with much gratitude that I thank a concerned neighbour, who put out feed for the kangaroos who turned up for refuge on their property.

A team went out this morning to search for any injured and orphaned joeys. By the morning the kangaroos were back on the Melbourne water land and very agitated. They saw us before we saw them and they fled from us to hide in the thick scrub. As such we were unable to get a good look at them, but it is of my belief there are most likely orphaned and injured Kangaroos in the mob.

We were also unable to find any of the shot kangaroos (we assume they were moved) and as such we have no idea of how many were shot. While we know that there were at least 2 joeys killed by dogs, there were another 4 adults hit and killed on the road in front of the farm. (see below)


(Image 1.2 Photo by Craig Thomson)

(Image 1.3 Photo by Craig Thomson)

So after the search was undertaken today (but will continue over the week), actions were taken by the team to ensure that justice for these animals was secured. A complaint was registered, of an offense to wildlife with DELWHP.

DELWHP have now started an investigation. Melbourne Water has been contacted and they will be making an investigation. The police were called as well however they did not seem to concerned. The witnesses to last night’s atrocities have made formal statements to appropriate authorities and departments, and the RSPCA has been contacted as well.

While Kangaroos have been killed, the ghastly actions of last night remain allegations. At least that is until the investigations are over and charges are either laid or not laid. However in these cases more often than not, if the accused is found guilty a very small penalty is handed out. As which is no deterrent to stop the offender from committing this crime again.

In this case the accused of these horrifying acts is A&G Lamattina and Sons. They are suppliers of everything from parsnips, iceberg lettuce, cabbage, silverbeet, celery and cos lettuce to Woolworths “the fresh food people” supermarket chain.

I ask this of the fresh food people, Are they willing to sell food that has cost wildlife their homes and lives especially that of Australia’s national icon.

Story by
Craig Thomson

Share This:

DELWP submission: Protecting Victorian Environment Biodiversity

We thank the Andrew’s Government for keeping its commitment to review a number of Victoria’s Environmental laws and to ensure our States’ biodiversity and environment is protected adequately.

Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc members attended DEWLP community consultation meetings recently. There was a lack of representation of wildlife species as a valued measure of biodiversity. Birdlife Australia was the only wildlife advocate represented. Despite the lack of wildlife groups, Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) were highlighted in both the draft paper and at the community consultation meetings. This augers poorly for Victoria’s biodiversity.

Victorians acting for Nature – It is an abiding principle that all Victorians should interact with Victoria’s biodiversity and connect with nature, as often as possible. But what do we consider to be good interactions ? It was suggested interactions the public could have with biodiversity and with animals is hunting and fishing. We are most concerned by this statement. How does DEWLP consider hunting & fishing beneficial to people, and how does it enhance Victoria’s biodiversity and environment? It is in our view that activities like hunting are inhumane to wildlife, destructive to the environment and restrictive to other users and groups accessing nature.

When it comes to encouraging people to connect with nature and to wildlife, DEWLP and the Victorian Government should instead encourage people to join wildlife care/rescue groups and wildlife survey groups. Volunteering and working to rescue wildlife can be beneficial in many ways, but it also can be exhausting and draining for those who fight to defend native animals. Therefore, it is important that DEWLP and the Victorian government support volunteers wherever possible.

Other Management Challenges (Better, Smarter Management of our Biodiversity) In order to save biodiversity, we need to plan for and understand our Ecological Vegetation Classes, and Fauna and Flora instead of trying to control/manage them. The decline of biodiversity and other management challenges listed on page 71 of the draft (including native environmental weeds, over abundant wildlife, pest animals and weeds as well as managing bushfires) share the same failings. It is the way that we as a species exploit the environment for a myriad of reasons. We cannot manage or control flora and fauna species to an equal balance, especially when we do not address actions that we as a society create. These create imbalances more often than not which leads to more local extinctions.

In the draft Report about kangaroos, Noisy Minors and sweet pittosporums are listed as native species that have become a problem. Kangaroos are listed in the draft as ‘can exert high grazing pressure on native plants and wild flowers, a bit like rabbits, and can destroy habitat that ground dwelling native animals may need to survive’. Where is the evidence for this statement?

It is on the Departments’ website, in a case study about the Woodlands Historic Park! Kangaroos were fenced in for the reintroduction of Eastern Barred Bandicoots? Kangaroos are a species that move across the environment grazing short grass and reducing fuel loads. Fencing this animal in, and reducing its capacity to move through the landscape will have a negative effect on the landscape. However the environmental effects are not only going to be limited to areas where the animal is restricted. It will also have an environmental impact from where the animals have been restricted.

Noisy minors are mentioned in the draft as ‘a native honeyeater that aggressively excludes other native birds from favoured woodland habitat. Where woodland has declined or become fragmented, competition for habitat resources increases; the Noisy minor has a significant impact on the survival of other birds.’ It is nor the Noisy minor that is the problem, but woodlands decline, fragmentation and the need for increased resources.

Native plants like pittosporums and other noxious weeds have become important habitat for both plants & animals. While it is important to remove these plants, its’ more important to do so in a sensitive manner, one that does not further impact on our biodiversity. Sweet pittosporum can be important nesting habitat for the Eastern Yellow Robins, while Cherry ballarts (an epiphyte shrub) can use its roots to grow from pittosporums.
Threatened species National Threatened Species Day is the 7th September each year. It is celebrated or commiserated (depending on your view), as it was the day the last Tasmanian tiger died, forever relegated to the pages of history. We should and can learn from this sad episode in our nation’s history. Tasmanian Tigers were hunted to extinction primarily because they were perceived as a pest. In 2016 the Vic Government approved the cull of 25,000 kangaroos for the pet food industry’s ongoing trial. The sober reality is there is no known population of kangaroo numbers in Victoria.

Do we accept such drastic decisions about our wildlife, when we don’t even know the facts about the kangaroo species. It’s time to review a department responsible for both the protection of kangaroos and  issues An Authority to Control (Kill) Wildlife Permits (ATCW). The responsibility we have is to fight extinction and ensure the survival of our heritage. I have two daughters age 10 and 7. In their lifetime, it’s become just about impossible for them to view an Orange bellied parrot in the wild, or a southern brown bandicoot on the Mornington Peninsula. It is essential that we have up to date recovery plans and action statements for all threatened species and implement them for future generations.

Linking our society and economy to the environment,  In stead of linking our society and economy to the environment we should instead be linking our society, health, well being, heritage and history to and with the environment. There is more to the environment than having a financial need. There will be opportunities for those who wish pay for an experience in nature, but importantly to understand is that Victoria’s biodiversity and environment values has other qualities than those of a financial one.

Accounting for the environment:

The costs of logging old growth forests in the central highlands and East Gippsland are outdated. They continue to push threatened species closer to extinction. One such animal is the Leadbeaters possum, it was rediscovered over 20 years after it was thought to be extinct. The possum was rediscovered in the central highlands, where its prime habitat is being logged. The rediscovery of the Leadbeaters or fairy possum was a big deal at the time and as such named Victoria’s faunal emblem. It actually was the first flora and faunal emblem used in Australia. How does any extractive industry (especially one that runs at a cost such as Vic forests) account for the loss of a species, like that of the Leadbeaters possum. So we call for the creation of the Great Forest National Park in the Central highlands. We also call for investment in to the renewable energy sector and the phasing out of the out dated energy sectors that cause climate change causing pollutions. This environmental counting will give species threatened with extinction from climate change a better chance of survival into the future.

We would like to know if environmental accounting takes into account the financial sacrifices of those who rescue wildlife or defend the environment in VCAT or many other court proceedings? One such group is Save Tootgarook Swamp Inc, who have a VCAT hearing coming up P2704/2015 which is a development application which still has out standing enforcement orders for clearing habitat for the critically endangered Australasian bittern.

Ministers forward – Don’t let this draft document become nothing like other previous drafts, white and green papers before it, from previous governments. The more ministers who write about the values of our environment only to leave office with the environment in a worse state. We’ll makes new efforts and obtain statements from future politicians look like mere rhetoric.


Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc takes pride in Victoria’s fauna and advocates for all wildlife to flourish, evolve and survive into the future despite their ability to survive climate change, and their ability to adapt with human developments or their conservation status. We connect with nature in a myriad of ways including the pain and distress caused by the suffering of wildlife and destruction of their environment

We thank the government for this opportunity to contribute to the future of Victoria’s Biodiversity 2036.

Kind regards,
Craig Thomson
Wildlife Planning Officer, Australian Wildlife Protection Council

Share This:

Vegetation clearing on days of total fire bans and development in guise of reducing fuel load – the public should be concerned — Craig Thomson

Bearing in mind the recent Crib Point tragedy – a suspected arson attack, with wildlife loss yet to be detailed, one home destroyed and one home damaged plus several sheds destroyed, we must be more vigilant about how and whether we develop our bushland neighbourhoods more densely.

Planning laws allow property owners to remove large amounts of vegetation without permission from their land citing their reason as ‘fire protection’. After the vegetation is removed, those property owners may apply to the council for permission to intensify development on the land.

Council usually does not deny permission for individual cases. But such individual cases mount up and create a danger which councils and planners may not have seen. The risk is that the granting of denser housing development in a bushland area means that, if there is a fire in the remaining bushland, there will be an increased number of residents needing to evacuate. Increasing population density means that more roads are needed to cope with a fire emergency evacuation. However, densification is being allowed to happen in an ad hoc, case by case fashion, without the building of roads in advance of significant development. No one is overseeing the total impact. Vegetation clearing on days of total fire bans


477 Waterfall Gully Rd Rosebud 3939 Vic. Clearing took place on Friday 15/1/16, Monday 18/1/16 and Tuesday 19/1/16 thus far. To date up to 45 trees and shrubs have been removed, including 4 manna gums. One which was a hollow bearing tree and one on a neighbouring property. Most of the other vegetation removed was coast tea-tree.

I called the Mornington Peninsula shire council’s planning department, on the 18th and 19th of January 2016 about the clearing of native vegetation. The officers I spoke to on both days confirmed that there are no permits for either vegetation clearance or an application permit for a building extension/residential development. The planning department said that the vegetation clearance was legal without a permit. The vegetation in question was within 10 meters to the residence or 4 meters within the property boundary.


(image: 477 Waterfall Gully Rd, the vegetated block above)

As the primary reason that fire regulations allows for the vegetation clearance, I have raised the following concerns: No 477 Waterfall Gully residence has been unoccupied since November, when it was sold.

That the first action of the owner is to remove all trees and shrubs from site would suggest it is being cleared for a development – an opinion shared by the professionals clearing the vegetation and by the surrounding neighbours.

  1. Two of the three days the vegetation being cleared were days of total fire ban. The 18th and 19th of January were days of total fire bans. The use of multiple heavy industrial petrol operated equipment on days of total fire ban, I believe, makes a mockery of fire prevention laws.


  1. The planning department understand my concerns and have been as helpful as they can. However there is nothing they can do to address this issue due to current regulations. So I ask your assistance in addressing flaws in the fire regulations that allow developers to exploit them.


  1. These flaws are: To ban activities such as clearing vegetation or activities that could cause fires on days of total fire bans,
    Close loop holes that developers use to clear vegetation under false pretences, which cost the Shire revenue.


Craig Thomson, Planning Officer, Australian Wildlife Protection Council

Share This: