On 6 August, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environoment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio was contacted by Kinglake Ranges News for comment regarding the alleged illegal shooting of wombats at “Dude Ranch” (also known as “Balaclava” or “Yujiu Villa” in Mandarin) .
Victorian MLA for Mill Park and Minister Lily D’Ambrosio’s response is provided unedited in the public interest. [The response is provided by spokesperson James Todd, Executive Director, Biodiversity Division, DELWP].
As this matter is in my area of responsibility, the Minister has asked that I respond on her behalf.
I would like to start by assuring you that the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is investigating allegations as part of an ongoing investigation into illegal hunting.
This incident has raised the need to review the rules where, in some parts of the state, wombats can be controlled for specific purposes without the need for a permit.
DELWP will begin a review of these rules immediately and has already started some prel iminary work to better understand the numbers and distribution of wombats in the wild, and the threats that may be having an impact on their long term conservation.Advertisement
We know that mange is a serious threat to wombats, and some populations have declined as a result of this, so we are keen to ensure that wombats, like all wildl ife in Victoria, are adequately protected.
There are heavy penalties for failing to comply with hunting, wildlife and firearms laws, including fines, loss of licence, forfeiture of equipment used in the commission of an offence and, in some cases, imprisonment.
Thank you for raising this matter with the Minister.
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