Greg Barber has placed a number of requests with the Department of Sustainability and Environment under Freedom of Information over the years and few generate the same stalling as requests about the culling or control of wildlife.
Most recently he has requested copies of all permits to 'control' wildlife issued last year - 2126 permits in all. This was refused on the grounds that it diverted too much of DSE's resources. So the request was modified to cover only certain municipalities in which a total of 166 permits were issued. This request, too was refused. Queries from Greg's office about preferred numbers of permits per request to meet the restrictions of the department have not been answered.
Given Department of Sustainability's history of refusal of this request - and many others under FoI - Greg Barber will be bringing a motion to Parliament next week asking that all permits to control wildlife issued in 2011 be tabled and placed on the public record for some healthy scrutiny.
In the meantime - and in the interests of open and accountable government - Greg has decided to make public the following documents:
Obtained under Freedom of Information following a very long wait, Authority to Control Wildlife Permits issued by year and species (sort of a summary)
Obtained under Freedom of Information following a very long wait, Authority to Control Wildlife Permits issued by municipality (more comprehensive)
The refusal (personal details of the FoI officer blacked out) issued by one of DSE's FoI officers in response to our most recent request
...and to draw attention to a media release by Ryan Smith that amounts to a baby step in the right direction of community scrutiny over wildlife culling permits (but by no means goes far enough).
The latest listing of animals for culling published on the DSE website. Please note that there are no figures publicly listed - at the time of writing this story - more recently than 2008.
If you are reading the permits listings please note that where a species has one or more permits issued for its 'control' and the number of animals to be 'controlled' is 0, this means that the permit issued is to kill an unlimited number of that species and not to kill none at all. Therefore in the case of silver gulls in Frankston municipality 2011, a permit was issued to kill an unlimited number of silver gulls.
If this is a matter that matters to you, please feel welcome to contact the office of Greg Barber and raise your concerns. If you have any trouble opening these documents please contact us and we'll email you a PDF version or post you a hard copy.
|ATCW by municipality.pdf||164.45 KB|
|ATCW by species.pdf||27.78 KB|