Great Keppel Island locals face government eviction
SOME of Great Keppel Island's oldest resident are set to be kicked off the tropical island paradise this week.
The move comes after Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga met with Great Keppel Island stakeholders in December 2015 to formulate a plan to have the 300-1000 residents, described as 'feral', removed.
Community members need not worry though, we're talking about feral goats here.
Mrs Lauga said the first feral goats will be removed from GKI early next week.
"At that meeting of stakeholders, we asked Tower Holdings Pty Ltd, the Great Keppel Island lease holder, to put together an effective action plan to tackle the worrying issue," Mrs Lauga said.
"In formulating its plan, Tower was instructed to liaise closely with applicable State and Federal authorities.
"I am advised by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry that last weekend the contractor for the job began pre-feeding in preparation for the mustering to begin on July 18.
"Mustering and handling of the goats will begin using the airstrip as a base.
"On July 24 it is expected the barge will bring over trucks into which the goats will be walked up the loading ramp.
"The goats will then be offloaded at Thomson Point into trucks bound for the Chinchilla abattoir."
Mrs Lauga said it was anticipated the last of the goats will be offloaded on July 26, but it was not clear how many goats would remain on the island.
She said under the Biosecurity Act 2014, Biosecurity Queensland has worked with the Queensland Government, Livingstone Shire Council and other stakeholders to resolve the feral goat issue.
"The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 allows for the control of feral animals or pest animals as long as it causes the animal as little pain as is reasonable and complies with animal welfare laws," she said.
"This goat-removal process is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the Livingstone Shire Council, and DAFF will continue to provide advice to the contractor so the feral goat removal is undertaken effectively and humanely."
Mrs Lauga said if a member of the community becomes aware of potential breaches of the Animal Care and Protection Act they should call 132325.