Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Statements by Members
Lyons Electorate: Wombat Sarcoptic Mange
I rise to today to speak about a terrible outbreak of sarcoptic mange in the north of my electorate, which is affecting the wombat population in the Narawntapu National Park. Ninety four per cent of wombats in the national park have died since 2010, and I am now informed that fewer than 10 animals remain in this national park. These beasts are a wonderful tourism drawcard—many tourists go there to see them—and this a terrible disease. These animals die a slow and painful death.
The West Tamar management authority group, a team of volunteers, have been trying to treat the wombats by attaching ice-cream lids with little bits of chemical to their backs, but they need permission from the government. The state government is being held up by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, which is under the remit of the Deputy Prime Minister. Perhaps if that authority spent less time worrying about its future and where it is going to be based over the next few years, it could spend more time on making sure that these animals are treated.
There are some wonderful volunteers, like John Harris and Scott Carver, an academic from UTAS, who are trying their hearts out to save these animals. The wombat is a wonderful Australian icon. We need to do better, and we can do better. This government has to step up to the plate and get involved in saving these animals.