The issue of 'harvesting' kangaroos for their meat has drawn stinging criticism from an Aboriginal Elder, who has called it an "indiscriminate slaughter" which should stop immediately.
Loddon Shire Council discussed the issue last month at its ordinary meeting after receiving an application to establish a kangaroo processing plant at Inglewood.
Due to a conflict with its planning scheme, council was forced to refuse the application, however, did so reluctantly as the application presented employment opportunities and an industry for the shire
More news: Fire destroys Kangaroo Flat unit
Mayor Dan Straub said despite council's decision, a kangaroo harvesting program was still taking part in Loddon Shire as per a state directive which the shire could have benefited from through the processing plant.
In Victoria, commercial harvesting of Eastern and Western Grey kangaroos has been allowed since October 1, 2019 under the Victorian Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan.
It was set up for landholders to deal with the problems of crop destruction, competition with livestock and damage to property such as fences.
Aunty Janet Turpie-Johnstone, an Aboriginal Elder, academic and researcher based in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, has decried the state government's kangaroo harvesting program.
She said slaughtering kangaroos was an ongoing facet of colonialism that undermines Aboriginal stewardship with a culture of exploitation and profiteering.
"The colonial invasion of Australia was basically a grab for land and resources with those breaching the frontiers having little sympathy for all its native inhabitants, from human to the smallest native mouse," Aunty Janet said.
"Of course, land was first along with forests to support habitation for the ever-growing immigrant populations.
"Sheep, cattle, horses, camels etc., were imposed onto the landscape. These supported the migrating populations and the colonial economy that belonged to Europe.
"Almost as quickly, native creatures became the victims of these colonial extractive industries: whales, seals, birds, Koalas, Possums, Bats and of course, kangaroos."
"Kangaroos were labelled 'pest' by an invading human species, but kangaroos only became a 'pest' when the land grab invaded their once peaceful countryside.
"I wonder who the real invasive pest really is?"
Aunty Janet rejects the government's label of 'harvesting', calling the shooting of kangaroos "a mass killing of creatures that do not belong to them".
"Never forget the colonial invasion was an invasion that saw everything in this country up for grabs as part of the greed that drove the invasion," she said.
"It was cruel, it has harmed this Country, and it has put so much of our biodiversity at serious risk.
"Was colonisation good for Aboriginal people, their Country and her creatures? No. It has been, and continues to be, devastating for all these.
"The indiscriminate slaughter must stop."
Victorian Kangaroo Alliance has backed Aunty Janet's call for an immediate end to the exploitation of kangaroos and demanded respect for them as sacred totem animals deeply connected to Aboriginal culture.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.