Local wildlife rescuers, carers and interested people attended a Macedon Ranges Shire Council ward meeting at Jubilee Hall, Macedon in April 2007 to discuss a number of pressing local issues including:
- accounts of illegal shootings in the shire
- local newspapers call for a cull of kangaroos because of a ‘perceived increase’ in roo numbers
- planning issues in terms of new developments encroaching on known wildlife/kangaroo areas potentially creating more problems
- the fact that more than half of new residents moving to the Macedon Ranges have never lived in the country before posed a real need for wildlife awareness and education
- the need to get dusk till dawn signs installed in ‘hotspots’ and the growing need for greater awareness in safer driving
The council was definitely impressed by the turnout - 18 out of 22 public at the meeting were there for wildlife!
A week later, the wildlife supporters who attended that council meeting gathered together and the Macedon Ranges Wildlife Network (“MRWN”) was created.
MRWN representatives held a further meeting with the Mayor and the Environment Manager to discuss strategies that could bring awareness to local wildlife issues and how to create more wildlife and resident compatibility.
The Council were extremely supportive of the issues that we had raised at the council meeting and gave us the opportunity to work with them through:
- new resident packages
- assistance with dusk till dawn signage
- shire website
- shire ‘update’ newsletter
The council stated that they did not support a kangaroo cull because of changes of behaviour in wildlife due to drought.
The need for a wildlife network arose out of giving the council and communities within the shire a local point of reference on wildlife issues – a network that is knowledgeable about community wildlife issues with a good working relationship with council.