Locals volunteer for Public Safety Initiative

Members of the Community Reference Group formed for the Tuan Toolara Feral Horse Public Safety Initiative: Top, Jenny Millers, Stephanie Hunt (HQP), Shona Heading (HQP), Andrew McCarthy; Middle, Jeremy Mansell (HQP), Dr Mandy Paterson (RSPCA), Dr Dave Berman (Ozecological), Keesha Millar; Bottom, Jess Milne, Me D’Or, Sandy Roberts (SEQ Brumby Association); Absent, Andrew Robert

Members of the Community Reference Group formed for the Tuan Toolara Feral Horse Public Safety Initiative: Top, Jenny Millers, Stephanie Hunt (HQP), Shona Heading (HQP), Andrew McCarthy; Middle, Jeremy Mansell (HQP), Dr Mandy Paterson (RSPCA), Dr Dave Berman (Ozecological), Keesha Millar; Bottom, Jess Milne, Me D’Or, Sandy Roberts (SEQ Brumby Association); Absent, Andrew Robert

Six local volunteer representatives have been appointed to the Community Reference Group (CRG) for the Tuan Toolara Feral Horse Public Safety Initiative.

Research estimates up to 2,000 feral horses are present in Tuan, Toolara, Neerdie and Bauple State Forests. Approximately 100 horses have been captured along Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Coast Roads by HQPlantations since 2009 and rehomed by the SEQ Brumby Association and Ozecological.

Despite the program, feral horses still cross these busy roads with frequent near misses and a collision requiring hospitalisation occurring as recently as March 25, 2020.

The highly respected community representatives on the CRG come from Poona, Boonooroo, Goomboorian and Tin Can Bay and travel daily on roads where feral horses are frequently seen.

There is a good mix of advocates for feral horses and for public safety, with all representatives concerned for feral horse welfare. One member has rescued a feral horse previously and another was hospitalised after a collision with a feral horse in the area 10 years ago.

The CRG representatives are Jess Milne, Andy Roberts, Mel D’Or, Keesha Millar, Andrew McCarthy and Jenny Millers. The CRG meets fortnightly by video conference to learn about and discuss issues associated with local feral horse management. Over the coming weeks and months, they will be seeking the opinions of the wider community.

The CRG will share community perspectives with the feral horse management committee, which comprises local land and road managers and owners and other subject matter experts. The committee is drafting a Feral Horse Management Plan for the Tuan Toolara State Forest Areas.

An engagement hub has been established for people to follow the Feral Horse Public Safety Initiative on https://hqp.engagementhub.com.au and map feral horse sightings, near misses and collisions on an interactive map.

Interested residents can send a message to any member of the CRG or to HQPlantations by using the contact form on Engagement Hub or by emailing community@hqplantations.com.au and nominating who the message is for in the subject line.