Whittlesea council is calling for more to be done to protect kangaroos displaced by the Mernda rail extension amid concerns too many are being hit by cars.
The council will write to the Level Crossing Removal Authority and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, urging them to develop a better management plan for kangaroos living along the Mernda rail corridor and Plenty Road.
While the council wants to see the kangaroos better protected and associated road safety issues addressed, it is adamant kangaroos should not be culled.
Cr Tom Joseph, who raised the issue at last month’s council meeting, said residents and wildlife rescuers had reported an increase in the number of kangaroos being killed or seriously injured along Plenty Road and near the rail extension.
Wildlife Victoria considers Mernda a hotspot for calls about injured or displaced kangaroos.
“I see this every day – it is heartbreaking to see so many kangaroos on Plenty Road,” Cr Joseph said. “We need to take immediate action. Culling should not be an option – they should be relocated.”
Cr Ricky Kirkham said the issue was one of the downsides of development.
“Development is pushing kangaroos out of their environment and under a lot of cars,” he said.
“There are a lot of kangaroos hopping around, particularly further north to the site of Bridge Inn Road. We should be doing everything we can to support wildlife.”
Level crossing authority project director Graeme Chambers said the organisation had been working with other agencies to minimise risks to kangaroos, including relocating a mob of kangaroos from the Hawkstowe area earlier this year.
The organisation has erected fences around its construction sites, and once the project is complete, permanent fencing will be installed to protect wildlife from trains.
“We’re committed to minimising the impact of our works on wildlife around our construction sites while we build this significant project for the Mernda community,” Mr Chambers said.