Launceston Golf Club could become a "black hole for wildlife" under permits granted to cull species said to be damaging its grounds, a move which has sparked concern from residents, animal groups and a city councillor.
Critics of the cull are questioning the notice given to stakeholders, whether alternative methods should be explored, or if the program will even be successful.
The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment recently provided permits for the club to undertake a cull of species - thought to include ducks, possums, native hens and wallabies - which have been "causing damage" to the course.
A courtesy letter from the club, dated April 29 and dropped in nearby residents mailboxes, states the cull would take place for a "limited time" from May 1.
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But Norwood resident Sarah Bryan said she did not receive the letter until the scheduled start date, and had spoken to others whose properties back on to the golf course who had not received a letter.
Ms Bryan said this was not the first time she had been notified about a culling program either. Two similar notices in as many years had come days prior, giving her time to call DPIPWE and raise objections.
"It sort of gives me the impression that they are trying to tie our hands," said Ms Byrne, who passes through the course regularly and has seen animals enter from the adjacent Punchbowl Reserve through holes in the fence.
Upon finding the recent notice, Ms Bryan said she called the golf club's general manager and was told the move stemmed from concerns with the amount of faeces on the green.
Then calling DPIPWE, Ms Bryan said she was told the reason the permits were granted was due to damage to the grounds and large populations - something she says neither her nor her father have noticed during their years in the area.
"Yeah there's poo on the golf green, but it's not enough to disrupt anyone playing," she said.
A department spokesperson said non-lethal control measures were the preferred approach to managing wildlife on recreation facilities, but where these measures were unsuccessful or unsuitable, land managers could apply for culling permits.
"All work must be undertaken with regard to Tasmania's animal welfare requirements for the taking of wildlife, public safety and other relevant legislation or requirements," they said.
The spokesperson did not answer specific questions around what species would be targeted, in what numbers, and what other control measures had been undertaken.
Launceston Golf Club has been contacted for comment.
The golf course will just become a black hole for wildlife.Eric Woehler, BirdLife Tasmania
BirdLife Tasmania convener Eric Woehler said the question was what species were being targeted, and what other options had been undertaken - noting the reports of fencing gaps.
"The reality is, it's not going to be successful," he said. "All they will do is open up habitat there for other animals to come in. It will just be a never ending solution. The golf course will just become a black hole for wildlife."
City of Launceston councillor Andrea Dawkins said it seemed the only stakeholders considered were immediate neighbours, though there would be many in the wider community concerned about native wildlife.
"Either way it is animals that are again being removed because they are an inconvenience, whether that is in the urban area or the golf course, and people that will be concerned about this are not being told until it is too late," she said.
Cr Dawkins added that better fencing should always be looked to before culls. "It's not good enough and I don't think we should stand for it," she said.
Kristy Alger, a spokesperson for Animal Liberation Tasmania said: "We would like to see the cull immediately stopped. We would like facilities and DPIPWE around the state to reconsider whether killing is the best way to approach this".
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