Dead wallaby painted over by workers marking Tasmanian road leave public hopping mad



December 04, 2018 05:37:08

Roadworkers in Tasmania have painted over roadkill in an incident labelled by a wildlife expert as disgusting.

Key points

  • Road workers were painting new lines on highway south-east of Hobart
  • Wildlife expert disgusted by contractors’ decision to paint over dead wallaby
  • Department of State Growth says it is not best practice to paint over roadkill

In a state that has the dubious reputation as being the roadkill capital, a man captured footage of what some might say is the work of some fairly lazy road markers.

While new line markings were being placed on the Arthur Highway at Copping, south-east of Hobart, the paint was tracked right over the head of a dead wallaby.

Garrick Cameron, who runs the Lord of the Lettuce Facebook page, and lives on the highway where the new markings were rolled out, posted the footage on social media about two weeks ago.

He said he could not believe what he was seeing as he drove home with his wife.

“I said ‘look they’ve painted the road lines’ and I turned into the driveway and I was like ‘you’re kidding’ … I couldn’t believe it, like they’d gone right over the top of it,” he said.

“I’ve seen memes of stuff like that on Facebook before but I never thought I’d see that in the flesh, and right out the front of my house.”

Facebook comments criticised why the animal had not been removed by the road workers.

In the video, the Lord of the Lettuce can been seen picking up the dead animal, leaving a distinct gap in the white line marking.

“It’s just so typical in this day and age — you know, just do the hours, not the work,” he said.

“It just amazes me that someone could have such little pride in what they do. Now there’s a big gap in the road about two feet long.”

Greg Irons, of the Bonorong Wildlife Park which coordinates wildlife animal rescue and rehabilitation, said he was disgusted by the images.

“I can’t believe taxpayers are paying someone to do a job [through the Department of State Growth] and they are making a joke of it,” Mr Irons said.

He wants the contracting company to educate its workers.

Tips for reducing roadkill

  • Look out for wildlife hotspot signage
  • Take extra care driving between dusk and dawn
  • Do not throw food from cars
  • Never swerve to avoid animals, slow down
  • If safe, move roadkill off the road

“They should be taught about the roadkill issue, our staff have to deal with the fallout from it every day,” he said.

“If they had used the opportunity to remove the roadkill from the roadside, they could be saving endangered species’ lives.”

Earlier this year, Mr Irons was part of a push to reduce roadkill, launching a campaign aimed at reducing roadkill numbers in Tasmania.

In 2017, his organisation received an estimated 7,426 calls about injured and orphaned wildlife.

A spokesperson for the Department of State Growth said it was best practice for line-marking contractors to inspect sites before any line marking is undertaken, and it was disappointed this did not occur.

The department has been contacted by the contractor, who is also disappointed by the incident.







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