It was a cute photo of our local member, Mary-Anne Thomas, cuddling a wombat ('Funding boost to wildlife carers', Midland Express, February 28) but what's not too cute is her government's track record in wildlife protection.
The Andrews Government sanctions the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of wild animals each year. It licensed the shooting of 135,887 kangaroos in Victoria in one year alone (2015) and is poised to introduce a kangaroo 'industry' in Victoria which will increase this annual slaughter across the state for a new "meat trade'.
And it's not just kangaroos in their firing line. In 2015 they issued permits to kill 46,055 other animals including 3666 wombats and many wallabies, possums, bats, reptiles and native birds. Although koalas have not been targeted for outright culling, the mismanagement of koala populations in places like Cape Otway have resulted in de facto culling where animals are first left to starve and then are 'euthanised'.
The Labor government's disgraceful pandering to the shooting lobby has seen Victoria left as one of the few states that still celebrates the annual slaughter of water birds in the name of 'sport' despite 20 years of polling showing Victorians want it to cease.
Their relentless logging of native forests in the Central Highlands and East Gippsland is killing untold numbers of animals including the endangered leadbeater's possum.
Close to Mary-Anne's own area, the issuing of permits to shoot corellas at Kilmore this year and, last year, to shoot kangaroos next to the wildlife shelter that had rescued and rehabilitated them form the Lancefield fire, has left our community aghast.
We love to see our politicians cuddling wildlife but we'd love them even more if they would take a 21st century approach and stand up for humane, non-lethal wildlife management and end the ongoing slaughter.