Wollongong City Council has run out of money to combat the region’s feral deer problem and needs the state and federal governments to step in.
The South East Local Lands Services has estimated a sustainable deer management program for the Illawarra would cost a minimum of $400,000 per year but at present the funds fall short.
Currently, council contribute up to $85,000 per year to the Illawarra Wild Deer Management Program, with financial assistance from other government agencies and private landholders. But as of November, money allocated to the program had already run out.
Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery will propose to councillors on Monday that they make a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Impact of Feral Deer, Pigs and Goats in Australia.
In turn he hopes it will also put pressure on the state government to dig deep and commit to a co-contribution of up to 50 per cent for the deer management program.
“The big challenge is in the Sydney Water Catchment which is where they’re all coming from,” he told the Mercury. “I think they need to take greater responsibility for pest management.”
The council has previously called on the state government for help but the pleas have fallen on deaf ears – Cr Bradbery labelling it as “pathetic”.
“It’s a national problem identified by the federal government … but it’s the states that have direct responsibility,” he said.
“The legislature describing them as game species also needs to change to being a pest species.”
In statistics obtained by Wollongong City Council 338 deer have been killed in total across land owned by council, the state government, corporate and private from July to September of this year.