Police hunt for wallaby killers

POLICE, Ballina Shire Council and National Parks rangers are investigating the shooting deaths of at least 12 protected wallabies on Lennox Head's Seven Mile beach.

Ballina Shire council Natural Resource extension officer James Brideson said he inspected several dead walla- bies with police on the northern end of Seven Mile beach on Tuesday.

Mr Brideson said police found bullet holes in the animals and expressed concern that someone was shooting protected native wildlife in a public place without consent.

"We have also had many calls from walkers who use the fire trail and the beach both early and late in the day concerned about the number of dead wallabies they have seen in the past month," he said.

One person had mapped the locations of 12 dead wallabies before dragging them off into the bushes.

"I could smell at least eight decaying corpses at different locations," Mr Brideson said.

Some of the corpses had been found dragged into the sand dunes to decay.

National Parks and Wild- life spokesman Lawrence Orel reminded people shooting wallabies was illegal.

"People found killing wild- life, including kangaroos or wallabies, without a licence face a fine up to $11,000 and/or six months in jail," he said.

Mr Orel said the NPWS would continue to investigate the incidents.

Acting Richmond Local Area Commander, Detective Inspector Greg Moore, said it was a serious concern that guns were being shot on Seven Mile Beach.

"There are a number of offences that can apply to people discharging firearms in a public place," he said.

"These incidents are the subject of ongoing police investigations and as a result of the reports police have stepped up their covert and overt patrols of the area."

Anyone with any information can call Ballina detectives on 6681 8699 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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