Council defends new ranger punished for shooting 20 roos
GYMPIE Regional Council has defended the controversial hiring of a former police officer involved in the shooting of more than 20 kangaroos in 2011.
Recently appointed as a council ranger, the man was investigated in December 2011 after horse riders stumbled upon the dead animals at Booral, near Hervey Bay.
QPS media have confirmed he was fined $400 and reprimanded for not being authorised to kill a protected animal under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.
During the investigation, the man and the land owner said they had a long-term agreement which allowed the man to be on the property and use firearms there.
The Australian Society for Kangaroos was outraged at the time over the "lack of action" by QPS and the RSPCA and labelled the man's actions "barbaric" in a September 2012 press release.
Since finding out about the recruitment, several residents have approached The Gympie Times with concerns over the man was an appropriate choice for the position of ranger.
A council spokeswoman said the council was not aware of the specific details of the incident, but stood by its "rigorous" recruitment process.
"Applications received are short-listed based on experience, skill sets and qualifications," she said.
"These are then sent to an external company SafeSelect who are specialists in the psychological testing of job applicants to the public safety and human service professions such as police and ranger recruitment.
"This is a comprehensive process in which council has full confidence.
"Once this has been completed, interviewing and council recruitment procedures are undertaken, including external checks, and the correct applicant appointed."
She said a ranger was required to work closely with the community "in sometimes difficult and emotional circumstances," and did work directly with animals.
"It is imperative to council to have the right person in the position, and for community to have confidence in the department and staff," the spokeswoman said. "This consideration is part of the full recruitment process.
"These decisions are not taken lightly and council is satisfied with both the process and the appointments that have resulted."
The man declined a request to comment on the matter. RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty was unable to confirm why his organisation did not investigate as he said it did not keep records on matters it did not proceed with.