• The culling of wombats in South Australia will not go ahead despite approval from the state’s department of environment and water. (AAP Image/David Mariuz)Source: AAP Image/David Mariuz
Traditional Owners have had their voices heard as the mission to cull wombats is called off.
By
Brooke Fryer

Source:
NITV News
6 Mar 2020 - 3:55 PM  UPDATED 6 Mar 2020 - 4:01 PM

It was revealed on Tuesday that the culling of wombats in South Australia will not go ahead despite approval from the state’s department of environment and water.

Earlier this week, the department approved the shooting of the animal following complaints from a farmer who noted damage to his equipment which was allegedly caused by running the wombats over, reported the ABC.

The land is being leased to the farmer through the Aboriginal Lands Trust (ALT) on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula near Point Pearce where the cull of up to 200 Southern hairy-nosed wombats would have taken place.

It was the ALT who, on behalf of the farmer, applied for and received the permit to humanly kill the animal. But complaints from traditional owners saw the ALT retract their decision.

"The ALT has resolved to work with all parties to seek an alternative solution to the proposed culling of wombats which were hindering farming activity," said John Chester, the Aboriginal Lands Trust chief executive told the ABC.

"The application to cull the wombat colony was submitted in good faith last year and with the support of the Point Pearce community, the ALT and other stakeholders.

"The animals also pose a potential health risk to the community due to manage infestation.”

Earlier this week Traditional Owner and Adjahdura/Narungga and Ngadjuri Elder Quenten Agius told the ABC that the wombats are “part of a storyline that travels way back” and expressed serious concerns about the plan.

“We talk about evolution and everything through these animals,” he said. “I understand that the farmer has got an issue with the wombats but at the end of the day, these wombats have got to be looked after.”

When Mr Agius heard the cull had been called off, the ABC reported he was emotional over the decision.