Your correspondent David Everest has once again fallen back on his well-worn tactic of attributing an opinion to a group he disagrees with and then rubbishing that opinion. His latest effort (On the Wallaby, The Border Mail, June 9) describes the dangers of hitting kangaroos on country roads and he writes “kangaroos are endangered screech the environmentalists. However anecdotal evidence shows this is far from the truth.”
When and where did these environmentalists “screech” that kangaroos were endangered? The main four species of kangaroo are not listed as endangered, threatened or extinct on any state or federal register.
David follows his usual pattern of citing “anecdotal evidence” to support his claim and as usual doesn’t provide any of that evidence. Notwithstanding the abundance of some kangaroos, and contrary to David’s “anecdotal evidence”, some of the lesser-known species of kangaroo are actually endangered and may already be extinct. These include; the Nabarlek, Boodie, Gilbert’s potoroo, Northern Bettong, Mala, Bridled nail-tail wallaby, Parma wallaby, Woylie, Banded hare-wallaby, Long-footed potoroo, Proserpine rock-wallaby.
These names come from state and Commonwealth threatened species registers and are compiled by people qualified and resourced to research them. These surely carry more weight than David’s unspecified anecdotal evidence.
Graham Parton, Beechworth
Dollars the bottom line
I support the Mountain Cattlemen’s protest against removing the brumbies. These animals are the ancestors of the hundreds of horses taken to war and who were ultimately left behind once our men returned. They cannot be considered “feral animals” any more than the majority of us can be considered “invaders” to this country.
One needs to look at what is happening in our high country and supposed National Parks. If there is money to be made it would appear that anything goes. Mountain bike tracks run through the parks, often along the precious creek beds the brumbies are accused of damaging. These tracks are proliferating at an alarming rate. Wide tracks are being cut through the parks for commercial walking tracks complete with luxury accommodation. Ski fields continue to expand and precious water kept for snow making and other leisure sports instead of running free to replace our rivers. Massive fires now occur burning out substantial parts of our area, this did not occur when the cattle and horse grazing kept the undergrowth down.
It is very easy to blame defenceless animals for the damage we inflict. There needs to be a balance. The very people who present extermination as the way to protect the area are often too focused on their “answer” to the perceived problem instead of looking at the whole picture. What a sterile environment we will end up with if we choose to label and exterminate creatures that once we held precious and now we label “feral”.
Jeanette McIlroy, Albury
Democracy at work
The passing of the safe zones bill in Sydney last week, by a massive majority, is welcomed as the correct decision for the majority of Australians; it was true representative democracy at work. Now genuine respect for women's autonomy and their medical privacy will be protected by this law. It is now time to put all this behind us and heal the chasm this divisive topic has caused in our community.