FOX ERADICATION PROGRAM

Mrs ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Madam President, I too commend the honourable member for Windermere for persistently bringing this forward. I am quite sure that his persistence has in some way contributed to the change in the focus to include other feral species, including cats. I am pleased with the amended motion. I did have concerns about the call for an independent oversighting of the new structure. I was advised that our Tasmanian Fox Eradication Program was the single largest fox eradication effort ever attempted in the world, which was unique because it was attempted before the establishment of foxes in large numbers in Tasmania. I was quite interested to read that.

I applaud the honourable member for his persistence. I have always been concerned with the amount of money we have spent on the fox taskforce over a number of years, but I agree with the honourable member for Mersey that we cannot take our eye off the ball and that we have to have something in place. I am not sure that the amount of money we spent was not a tad overkill. I have spoken to many hunters mainly over the last 12 months regarding the fox taskforce. Without exception, every hunter I have spoken to has said, 'I have been out there time and time again and not once have I ever seen a fox'. As they said, they thought that they would have come across one.

I recall travelling with the member for Apsley in the last year when we -

Ms Rattray - After your operation.

Mrs ARMITAGE - I am not sure if she is saying that my mental capacity may have been a little down because of the anaesthetic, but I am quite sure it was not. I was sure that we saw a fox near Conara. She encouraged me to ring the member for Windermere, which we did. He did not trot down to Conara at that stage and look at it, but he assured me that it was more than likely a feral cat. I have been assured that they do look very similar. I will not go on.

I am pleased to support the amended motion that we have. I have always been concerned with the amount of money we have spent. I also agree that we cannot take our eye off the ball and we need to put something in there. I will be supporting the motion as it stands.

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