Kangaroo relocation still an issue in Yanchep

There are still kangaroos in St Andrews and other nearby developments, which have not been relocated. Picture: Anita McInnes

WILDLIFE carers are worried the kangaroos still not relocated from St Andrews will be there when work starts on the Yanchep rail extension.

Northern Valleys Wildlife Support spokeswoman Sonia Cooke said there were still some St Andrews kangaroos, which had still not been taken to a release site.

Ms Cooke said another issue was holes had been cut in perimeter fencing and wild kangaroos were using them to enter the area as the holes believed to made by some dog walkers were not being repaired.

“The job will never be finished and will only get worse when the rail works start,’’ she said.

She said the Golf Peet estate also had 19 resident kangaroos.

The City of Wanneroo is planning to introduce a kangaroo management policy for landowners and developers to follow to manage fauna when land is going to be developed.

Directional clearing is one of the issues the city wants the management plan to prevent.

City of Wanneroo planning and sustainability director Mark Dickson said directional clearing referred to the practice of driving wildlife in a particular direction ahead of a land disturbance or vegetation clearing action, usually undertaken by land developers.

Mr Dickson said this type of ‘fauna relocation’ had traditionally occurred either as an unintentional outcome of clearing a site or as an intentional strategy to move fauna from a site to adjacent intact habitat.

“As the urban footprint has expanded and spatial extent of remnant habitat in the coastal corridor has diminished, and a situation now exits where there is an excessive fauna (kangaroo) population for the area of habitat left throughout the remaining ‘uncleared’ areas of the corridor, including the adjacent regional reserves and national parks such as Yanchep National Park,’’ he said.

He said the policy specified the need to prepare a vegetation and fauna management plan (VFMP) to prescribe how the developer would manage and relocate fauna.

The policy includes principles such as no fauna should be allowed to remain unmanaged within a developed area and fauna should be managed in a humane manner at all times, including post relocation.

“The VFMP is the instrument the developer must prepare to specify in detail how fauna will be managed and relocated.

“There is also the requirement to consult with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), which will provide advice on what a developer has to do to do to relocate fauna, including where to relocate to.

“It will be the DBCA’s advice that the prescribed relocation may fail or has failed, in which case they will advise on the alternative management options.’’

Metronet’s Yanchep rail extension project definition plan June 2018 said north of Pipidinny Rd, the route passed through land reserved for parks and recreation and containing Bush Forever (site 289) before passing under Yanchep Beach Rd to Yanchep station in the city centre.

“Every effort was made to minimise impact on the Bush Forever site, including considering an alignment along the edge of the area,’’ the project plan said.

“However, the undulating landscape, tight rail curve (not conforming to railway design standards) and impact on existing and future residents meant this option was not viable.

“Through the Bush Forever area, every effort will be made to balance the quantity of cut and fill earthworks in this section to minimise impacts.

“Four fauna underpasses will be provided along this section of track. “The rail corridor will travel in a cutting through existing urban developments as it reaches Yanchep Beach Rd and continue to a station within the future Yanchep city centre area.

“Just pass this station the track will continue north to turn and stow trains as required.’’

A Metronet brochure said during construction any areas marked for clearing would be inspected for animals to be relocated beforehand. “Relocation by a verified specialist will be timed, where practicable, to prevent coinciding with the main nesting or breeding season of fauna species – usually spring and summer,’’ the brochure said.