27th June - Waratah Park

After I had left ESL they asked me if I would oversee an Earth Sanctuary Development near Sydney. It was called Waratah Park and was the place where the TV series "Skippy the Bush Kangaroo" had been filmed. I must have been having one of those strange days where one makes silly decisions, because I accepted. So! there I was, in the most corrupt council area in the most corrupt state trying to do the impossible.

It consisted of 14 hectares on the edge of Kui-ringai Chase National Park. I talked to the rangers at Kui-ringai. I told them about the success we had at Warrawong with our southern brown bandicoot programme at Warrawong. They were very excited and promised us bandicoots as soon as we were ready.

We constructed the fence and removed the foxes and cats. We were ready for the bandicoots. I again talked to the local rangers. They told me that they had discussed the project with their superiors. There was a problem. They had a team of professionals monitoring the extinction of the southern brown bandicoot in Kui-ringai Chase National Park. My project would interfere with their results. I could only have the bandicoots if I changed the fence design so that the young bandicoots could not escape. They would pay for the modification.

Of course the young escaping was at the very heart of the projects success. But what could I do. I modified the fence. The NSW National Parks paid for its modification. But by the time I completed the modification the bandicoots were gone from New South Wales. I then received a letter from the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service. It stated that if I introduced bandicoots to Waratah Park then under the Endangered Species Act, they would put me in gaol.

I give the above example as just one of the many possible examples I could have given on the sabotaging of our projects by Australian bureaucrats whose job it was to save our wildlife. I would however like to state that there were those who did support our projects. The general feeling though of those government departments who claimed it was their job to conserve our environment was that we must be made to fail.

The southern brown bandicoot is now extinct in New South Wales thanks to the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service.

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