Emu relocation suspended

Emus will remain on the St Marys ADI site for a little longer.

The National Parks and Wildlife was ordered to temporarily suspend the relocation of 27 emus from the Lend Lease owned site while further consultation takes place.

Vandalism to the boundary fences by the public was blamed for the relocation.

On Monday (December 16), Penrith mayor Ross Fowler wrote to environment minister Robyn Parker, requesting the relocation be delayed for the council to consider its views.

The council had not been formally advised by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and previously supported for the retention of emus on the site.

‘‘Given the council’s long standing involvement in the planning, implementation and redevelopment of the former ADI site and the community sensitivities that are involved, I feel that it would be appropriate for the OEH to consult with council on a decision of this nature before it is taken,’’ Cr Fowler wrote.

Cr Fowler had the support of state Londonderry MP Bart Bassett as well as Ms Parker, who promptly responded to the council’s request.

“I am disappointed the council was not given a formal opportunity to comment before the relocation license was granted,’’ she said.

‘‘I have asked the NPWS to ensure that no further emu relocations occur and I will ensure that a meeting occurs with all key stakeholders including council and community representatives early in the new year. I have asked no further relocations take place until these discussions occur.”

Penrith Councillor Prue Car has asked for an urgent report to come back to next month’s council meeting investigating the retention of emus on site and status of the land transfer.

It’s believed some of the emus were to be relocated to an emu farm on the Central Coast.

Penrith Greens Councillor Michelle Tormey welcomed the latest news.

‘‘It is vital that the council uses its advocacy position in the community to send a very clear message,’’ she said.

“Our community is rightly very upset that this company wants to take our emus. We should have the right to decide what happens to them, and we will oppose their removal.”

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