By Evelyn Leckie
STRANDED kangaroos on a Woolworths-owned paddock in Mernda will be relocated after a year of waiting on a Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning approval.
Roos have occupied the paddock close to the Mernda train line since Easter 2018 due to a gate left open, the Herald Sun reported.
Woolworths paid for a relocation plan last year, which has only been finalised earlier this month.
DELWP regional manager of compliance Leigh Bryant said an Authority to Control Wildlife Permit was given to Woolworths on May 30 and finalised in early June, adding the permit would not allow Woolworths to use lethal control over the animals during the relocation process.
Although Ms Bryant said it was the permit holder’s responsibility to action the approved permit in a timely matter, she did not provide a reason for the lengthy time taken to approve the relocation plan.
The delay was reportedly due to strict legal requirements, which were not explained by the department.
Woolworths senior development manager Don Foulds said Woolworths were now seeking permission from the adjoining landowners to transfer the kangaroos over to their land.
“We’re hopeful we will be able to undertake the relocation as soon as possible,” Mr Foulds said.
“The kangaroo mob remain in good health with access to food and water.”
The kangaroo issue comes after the City of Whittlesea hosted a ‘Living with kangaroos’ drop-in session last week.
Council is asking residents to continue to share their thoughts and record details of encounters with kangaroos on a map online to help with planning.
The map records sighting and encounters with kangaroos and, so far, a majority of the sightings centre on South Morang.
People can visit the map at www.whittlesea.mysocialpinpoint.com.au/living-safely-with-kangaroos.
The council is also providing tips and information about living with kangaroos on their website.