The Bathurst Kangaroo Project is on track to finalise the relocation of 300 animals from the Mount Panorama precinct by the end of May.
The relocation project was launched last year in a bid to rid the Mount Panorama precinct of kangaroos to improve safety on local roads and the world-famous track during motor racing events.
It is a world-first project that has drawn international interest along with close scrutiny from Australian wildlife authorities, including the Office of Environment and Heritage and National Parks and Wildlife Service.
A report to tonight’s Bathurst Regional Council meeting by corporate services and finance director Bob Roach says ratepayers have so far chipped in $75,000 to support the relocation with a request for more likely to come before council.
Council originally budgeted $20,000 to support the project – to pay for temporary fencing at the Appleton Orchard compound where the kangaroos have been held awaiting relocation and for medicants to calm the ’roos during relocation – but unexpected delays and a larger number of kangaroos than expected have seen costs blow out.
Bathurst Kangaroo Project leader Ray Mjadwesch has updated council on the relocation, saying the number of kangaroos being moved to the new site was now about 300 – not the 150 originally planned.
While the relocation has been lauded by environmental groups, council’s support for the project has drawn local criticism as the cost has continued to rise.