Ugly details of the Illawarra's deer problem have emerged from a Senate report which called for significant long-term funding to flow from the Federal Government to deal with the feral species.
There were 212 times deer were struck by trains in the Illawarra in the five years from 2011-16, the Senate Environment and Communications Reference Committee found, citing evidence from a Wollongong City Council report.
There were another 30 collisions between trains and deer in the 12 months to October 2017, information from Sydney Trains stated.
Between these 242 events the cost of dealing with the problem was estimated at about $1.4 million - including $1 million on fencing for "a futile bid to stop them crossing tracks" along the rail line in the Illawarra.
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The committee has now called for long-term funding from Canberra to deal with the problem of feral deer nationwide, as well as for deer to be classified as a pest species.
It found all jurisdictions in Australia should make whatever changes are necessary in their local laws to make sure wild deer "are treated as an environmental pest", as well as maximising "the ability of landowners to control feral deer on their land".
A broadened commercial deer meat industry could eventuate, as the committee's final report also called for all jurisdictions - state, council and national - to all Australian jurisdictions to "implement frameworks to support the commercial harvesting of feral deer as part of an overall deer management strategy".
The committee was looking into the problem of feral deer, pigs and goats in Australia, and recommended national feral species commissioners be appointed for each.