Kangaroos caught up in new school construction

Kangaroos caught behind the temporary fencing on the corner of Sunningdale Rd and Moorpark Ave where the new school is going to be built. Picture: Anita McInnes

THIS morning about 20 kangaroos were stuck behind a fence where the new primary school on Sunningdale Rd in Yanchep is going to be built.

The kangaroos come in to eat the grass in St Andrews Park – the park provides an attractive source of green feed for them.

For many years a few kangaroos would sleep hidden in a section of bush bordered by Sunningdale Rd and Moorpark Ave but now that bush is going to be cleared to make way for the new school due to open next year.

Last week after the turning of the first sod by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery and Butler MLA John Quigley fencing was put up and since then residents have started raising their concerns.

Yanchep residents John and Lillian McDonald said they wanted to know what was going to happen to the kangaroos once the school was finished.

Mrs McDonald said people over east were mourning the loss of wildlife but in Yanchep the kangaroos which were a tourist attraction were being were being driven away.

“For the past six years they’ve been gradually pushed out,’’ she said.

“Soon there’ll be no kangaroos in (this part of) Yanchep.

“It’s been a place for kangaroos for umpteen years.’’

She said although tourists think that kangaroos just wander the streets in Australia that generally does not happen but Yanchep was the exception.

“You want tourism – that is tourism.

“I’ve spoken to tourists who come up here to see kangaroos – one chap from England said he loved walking down the street and just seeing the kangaroos.’’

Moorpark Ave residents said the kangaroos had been hanging around the fence yesterday morning as well trying to get back into the bush at the rear of the housing estate.

One man said for some months residents had been trying to have the school built elsewhere in Yanchep.

On Friday, January 31 a Department of Education spokeswoman said the department was liaising with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to ensure the best welfare outcomes for the kangaroos.
The spokeswoman said DBCA was working with them in an advisory role.

“We’ve been advised that the animals should not be approached by the public,’’ she said.

Disclosure: The journalist is a former Sunningdale Rd resident.