Colonial Golf Club owner Paul Jones doesn’t mind kangaroos and emus making themselves at home on his newly restored club grounds in Werrington.
In fact, he encourages it.
‘‘We want to conserve wildlife and create a sanctuary,’’ he said.
‘‘Animals would have access to permanent waterways and people will be able to see them.’’
Mr Jones spoke at Monday night’s Penrith council meeting, where Greens councillor Michelle Tormey called for a report to address the recent escape of emus from the former ADI site.
Lend Lease, which manages the site, has been working with National Parks & Wildlife Service in recent months to return the emus, who continue to escape.
Mr Jones welcomes emus on his golf course but has concerns for their safety.
‘‘They walk across the road on a regular basis,’’ he said.
‘‘There have been a few near misses. People stop to take photos and because the emus’ natural instinct is to run away, it pushes them onto the road.’’
He suggests soundproof fencing along a coridoor of land between the former ADI site and land owned by the Department of Planning, where emus and kangaroos can wander around as they please without being a threat to traffic.
Soundproof walls to prevent vandalism providing an escape route by stopping wildlife venturing into suburbia.
An emu Mr Jones has named Mango is a regular visitor.
A male emu used to accompany her but died from stress after being recaptured and returned to the ADI site.
‘‘She’s been coming and going on a daily basis for some time,’’ Mr Jones said.
‘‘She know where to find food and comes up to the shop. She’s very placid and isn’t shy with the customers.’’
He has 60 kangaroos who stay in the back paddock, where most are from their natural habitat and haven’t been tagged or sterilised.
‘‘They know when we’re closing, which is when they come onto fairway,’’ he said.
He believes emus are escaping because of feral animals such as dogs on the former ADI site.
‘‘It’s a difficult situation as I don’t want to tell Lend Lease how to run their business,’’ he said.
‘‘But I don’t think there are enough perimeter checks.’’
Mr Jones had this plea for motorists when they see emus.
‘‘By all means, show don and have a look but keep in mind they’re a wild animal,’’ he said.
‘‘They are intelligent but if they’re surrounded by roads and suburbia, chances are they will get hit,.
Council officers have told Councillor Tormey that Lend Lease is investigating the threat of feral animals on the former ADI site.
‘‘Lend Lease and NPWS are working together to return the emus, which is great,’’ Councillor Tormey said.
‘‘But there are potential animal and human issues at risk. The question remains why there haven’t been fence breaches until recently?’’
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