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Hastings Wild Deer Working Group Re-formed

Wild Deer working group participantsNorth Coast Local Land Services has chaired the first meeting of a working group focusing on wild deer management in the Port Macquarie region.  The Hastings Wild Deer Working Group, consisting of key stakeholders and interest groups, will contribute to a strategic approach for wild deer management in the region.

Jo McGoldrick, Manager Biosecurity and Emergency Services, North Coast Local Land Services said following yesterday's meeting, "North Coast Local Land Services has been asked by the Minister for Primary Industries to coordinate, convene and chair this working group.

 "A similar Working Group was established in 2001 to promote a coordinated and cooperative approach to the management of deer in the region which then fragmented in 2012/13.

"By re-engaging relevant stakeholders, the re-formed Hastings Wild Deer Working Group will contribute to a strategic approach to wild deer management activities in the Hastings region.

"The participants in this first meeting came to the table with enthusiasm and a commitment to working together to address this important issue."

Wild deer have been a concern in the Port Macquarie area since the 1980s and as the Hastings region continues to develop, the negative impacts of wild deer have increased. Damage to crops, plant nurseries, vineyards, golf courses and local gardens has escalated and the prevalence of vehicle accidents involving wild deer has intensified; NSW Police has recorded in 77 accidents in the region since 2009.  During the autumn rutting season, there is also the risk of aggressive bucks attacking people while protecting does.

Jo continued, "It is important to remember that wild deer are not a native animal.

Wild deer in garden"They are an appealing animal but sadly, when not controlled, they can cause damage to native bushland and make it more difficult for threatened species, such as the koala, to survive.

"A coordinated approach to wild deer management is required in order to reduce the chance of vehicle accidents and lessen the damage being done to local industries and properties.

"The Hastings Wild Deer Working Group has been re-formed to address local issues and concerns, identify priority areas for management through the development of a management strategy and to explore available provisions for control in the relevant Acts." Jo concluded.

A survey will be conducted during the next two months to enable the community to provide timely data to the working group on wild deer numbers, impacts, sightings and locations. Interested residents will be invited to complete the survey which will be available through local newspapers, at the Port Macquarie Hastings Council office and on the North Coast Local Land Services website.

Media contact:          
Jo McGoldrick, Manager Biosecurity and Emergency Services  Phone 0407 121 265

Photo caption:          
Participants at the first Hastings Wild Deer Working Group meeting
Wild Deer cause damage to crops, nurseries, golf courses and gardens