Over several years I have watched the mob of kangaroos within the Northern Memorial Park. Usually I see them from the Western Ring Road trail, but occasionally when I venture in to the cemetery, they can sometimes be seen among the native grasslands from the northern graves section.
But the cemetery is expanding, and new grave sites are being opened up on the north western area of the Northern Memorial Park. The area of native grasslands is shrinking.
On a cycle ride along the Western Ring road on July 17 I counted at least 18 Eastern Grey Kangaroos. This is perhaps the last mob of kangaroos permanently living within the bounds of the Municipality of Moreland. I think they are worthwhile to conserve and maintain in our municipality.
A little bit of kangaroo wildness in our rapidly urban consolidating municipality.
I have since raised this as an issue with Councillor Mark Riley, asking if Moreland has a Biodiversity officer and whether Moreland has any plans to safeguard the continuing presence of this kangaroo population in Moreland.
I am yet to hear back from this enquiry which was circulated around all Councillors, the CEO and Director of City Infrastructure.
Melbourne Water is currently doing maintenance and upgrade work on the Campbellfield Creek retention basin and wetlands that borders the Northern memorial Park to the east. Perhaps after work is finished, the kangaroo population can also be given access to this area?
The Upfield Bike Path extension from Sages Road is currently planned to use the embankment of the Campbellfield Creek retention basin and then pass through the eastern edge of the Northern memorial Park along the rail easement fence line before meeting the Western Ring Road path. VicRoads has funded Moreland Council for this work to be undertaken in the current year up to June 2019.
I have also emailed the Greater Melbourne Cemetery Trust asking why there is presently no Conservation Management Plan for the Northern Memorial Park and what conservation plans they have for this population of kangaroos, given their expansion of grave sites at the Northern memorial Park Cemetery.
My email of July 25 to GMCT is below:
I am a Fawkner resident, and often cycle through and around both the Fawkner Cemetery and Northern Memorial Park.
There is an Eastern Grey kangaroo mob located in the undeveloped section of the Northern memorial Park (River Red Gum Park).
This is perhaps the only resident population of kangaroos left in Moreland.
Due to the M80 ring road and urban development they are cut of from other populations of this species.
I counted 18 Eastern Grey kangaroos on July 17 from the Western ring road path.
I think they have a continuing conservation value as wildlife for the residents of Moreland.
I believe the Cemetery also supports the principles of being Land for wildlife.
I note there is currently no conservation management plan listed for the Northern Memorial Park on the GMCT website.
I have seen a development plan for the Northern Memorial Park (River Red Gum Park) dated 2015 and I am concerned about whether enough space for native grasslands is being set aside for this kangaroo population.
The Community Update newsletter from February 2017 fails to mention any duty of care to managing this kangaroo population or give any flora and fauna assessment of these grasslands.
So my questions:
Is the space allocated for the ‘habitat zone’, marked as site 12 on the GMCT plans, contain sufficient grasslands to support the kangaroo population of perhaps 18-20 kangaroos? What conservation management plan for these kangaroos has been set in place by GMCT, if any? What discussions have you had with Moreland Council and Melbourne Water for the conservation and continued sustenance of this Moreland population of kangaroos?
Please keep me informed on this issue, as there is strong community interest in the future of this population of kangaroos.
I have also taken steps to raise this as a local biodiversity management issue with Moreland Council.
Greater Melbourne Cemetery Trust sent a form acknowledgement of my email saying “For all other request and enquiries please allow up to 10 business days”
It has now been over 3 weeks since I sent my email to the Cemetery Trust.
This is a grave issue for the kangaroo mob, and I’m still waiting.