Urgent plea as kangaroo mob are ‘pushed out’ of Aussie city

More than a fifth of the kangaroo mob were killed from vehicle collision over two days.

Wildlife advocates are urging for the immediate protection of a kangaroo mob who reside close to where the new western Sydney airport is being developed.

The large mob has been dwindling in numbers and have been visibly "distressed" and "disorientated" after their home has been taken over by a 'masterplan' building development in Caddens, situated only 20 kilometres away from the intended airport site.

"Construction and the bulldozers have really scared them," local resident and wildlife advocate Zoe Schmidt told Yahoo News Australia. "We're now seeing kangaroos getting lost from the mob... and getting outside of the fenced area that the construction sites have."

Six kangaroos were struck from the Caddens mob which can be seen in among the construction fences.
Six kangaroos were struck over two days on the Great Western Highways behind Caddens, NSW. Source: Zoe Schmidt

"There's nothing left. It's all just dirt, no trees or anything. And they just sit there sort of bewildered and not knowing what to do... All the residents are really concerned about them."

Kangaroos 'pushed out' from home causing vehicle collisions

Kangaroos are known to have a deep connection to their land, often travelling back to the same location time and time again. With the native animals in Caddens being "pushed out", the development is forcing the kangaroos to venture into new territory — causing many collisions on the nearby Great Western Highway.

"Eastern greys are a really erratic breed of kangaroo where they'll just run from anything that scares them," Ms Schmidt said, explaining over 10 vehicle collisions have occurred in the last three months.

Wildlife advocates claim lack of protection measures

The Animal Justice Party NSW has been campaigning alongside concerned locals to find a solution to the issue but claims its request to speak at this week's local council meeting in Penrith was "revoked".

"There is no consideration whatsoever to protect these native animals," Vanessa Blazi from Animal Justice Party NSW told Yahoo News. "It was suggested we employ an ecologist to survey the land to ensure that existing wildlife are not impacted ... We believe that developers should be responsible for doing this."

Developers are required to complete a Fauna Management Report when applying for council approval which acknowledges the presence of the wildlife in the area, however advocates believe there is no real obligation to provide a "different and safe" home for animals impacted.

"There was six kangaroos struck the weekend before last, with one being a joey ... More needs to be done," Ms Schmidt said. "Animal advocates have just been asking for wildlife corridors to give them a small little avenue within all the construction, so that they can reach water and shade and not have to cross major roads or highways in order to get there."

Local council are not the 'determining authority'

“There has been significant development activity in Caddens over the last few years, most of which council has not been the determining authority for," a Penrith City Council spokesperson said.

"We have written to the Minister for Environment calling for the government to explore options it has available for the protection of the existing kangaroo communities in Caddens and Werrington. Council stands ready to assist the NSW Government where appropriate," it said.

"In the meantime, council is acting where possible to help protect the kangaroos and has recently installed additional advisory signage on O’Connell Street, to alert motorists to their presence in the local area.”

Advocates are committed to pushing the issue until a permanent and state-wide solution is found.

"If there's nothing we can do for these kangaroos, at least we can try and set a precedent for future developments for councils and developers, so we can have homes for our residents and we can also have better plans for the native animals," Ms Schmidt said.

Yahoo News Australia reached out to the property developer for comment.

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