Nelson Bay Golf Club receive $5000 Stronger Communities Grant

‘Kangaroo Phil’ Murray and Meryl Swanson, MP for Paterson.
‘Kangaroo Phil’ Murray and Meryl Swanson, MP for Paterson.

 

WILDLIFE and golf courses make an interesting combination. Animals can make for welcome entertainment but can also wreak havoc on greens.

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The quest to perfect the balance between man and beast at Nelson Bay Golf Club has given rise to what researchers hope will be a world-class management program, plus a uniquely Australian tourism opportunity.

“Everyone – human and roo – is a winner with this program,” said Meryl Swanson, MP for Paterson.

“The kangaroos receive expert medical care; their population is controlled in a humane fashion; our researchers are adding to the body of information around this iconic Australian animal; and the club has created a unique opportunity for tourism and revenue.”

Ms Swanson visited the club on Monday to present a $5000 Stronger Communities Grant, which will be spent towards expanding the club’s Kangaroo Encounters Tours initiative.

People who take part in one of ‘Kangaroo Phil’ Murray’s Kangaroo Encounters Tours can walk or ride in a golf cart around the club’s manicured course, ringed by native bushland, and interact with the native wildlife.

The Eastern Grey Kangaroos of Nelson Bay Golf Club are one of the most-studied populations in the country, according to Mr Murray.

Mr Murray’s research indicates that, since the 1980s and the suburbanisation of the Bay the kangaroo population on the course has fluctuated wildly, at times all but absent due to dog attacks, dam drownings, vehicular accidents, disease and even encounters with golf balls.

Mr Murray collaborated with the University of Sydney to support research into the roos while simultaneously implementing a management program that addressed population control.

The roos are now subject to regular counts, are tagged for identification, receive medical care when required, and are given birth control as required to help the population remain at around 120 animals, not including the young in pouches.

Tours are conducted most evenings. The cost is $15 per person, and children under 16 are free.

A guide-driven six-seater golf cart is available for groups of five or less for an additional $20 rental fee.

All money collected is used to fund ongoing kangaroo research.
For more information, ring ‘Kangaroo Phil’ on 0438 615 136.

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