Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (15:20): I rise to speak in support of Mr Meddick’s motion. It was interesting hearing Mr Grimley talking about the long experience of Mr Hinch in this area. Certainly as someone who has got a conservation reserve of some 300 acres that backs onto the Snowy Mountains national park, I am well aware of the use of 1080 and I am well aware of the ineffective use of 1080. I am well aware that it has not stopped the feral pigs, it has not stopped the foxes, it has not stopped the rabbits and it has not stopped the wild dogs and the feral cats. We still have a significant issue with all of those despite decades of baiting using 1080. So we have to do this differently. We know that this is an incredibly dangerous poison. While it has not stopped the number of pigs, rabbits, foxes and dogs in my area, it has had an effect on some of our lizards, it has had an effect even on some of our marsupials and it has really had an effect on some of our birds.
I was pleased to see that some jurisdictions are already phasing this out in Australia. We know that most jurisdictions overseas have already done it. They understand that it is a horrible poison that does awful things to any animal that consumes it, but more importantly it actually is not an effective pest management and pest control strategy. As we know, it has been banned in most countries. I mean, it was banned in the USA in the 1970s. This is something that other jurisdictions moved on from long ago. Australia is in a real backwater in regard to the use of this poison.
I note that—it was only probably last year—the Blue Mountains local government have phased out using this. There have been calls for national parks in New South Wales to phase out using this, and, probably closer to home, we have had a parliamentary inquiry report that is recommending that we phase this out—so we must do this. As that inquiry into ecosystem decline in Victoria found, we have some really significant issues around the decline of our ecosystem, the decline of our species and the extraordinary rate of extinction of our native animals in this country. 1080 plays a role in that, and it does not play a good role. There are far better ways to protect our native flora and fauna than using 1080, which has been found to, as I say, not even be effective.
So this is a sensible motion, I think. Most of the farmers in our region no longer use 1080. They do not have to. We have hunters in the area—which might not be the Animal Justice Party’s solution to this. We have hunters and we have other ways to protect any of the livestock in the area that has been attacked by dogs in the past. That concern has largely disappeared in my area, as has the use of 1080. So there are other ways to deal with this, and I commend this motion.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member of Northern Metropolitan Region
Mr Meddick’s motion 11/5/22