PEST: A deer caught in the
Pan Pacific Peace Gardens
GET the pest off our crest.
That is the call from Cr Paul Tully who is set to lobby state MPs to remove the deer from the Queensland coat of arms and replace it with the koala.
Cr Tully said the koala was "a well known and truly loved native Australian animal" whereas the red deer was "an officially declared class three pest".
"I am calling for the government to get rid of the deer, a native pest from England, and replace it with the koala," he said.
"The koala is our official Queensland faunal emblem.
"The species is under threat and having it on the crest would improve public knowledge and appreciation of the koala.
"And unlike the red deer, it is illegal to shoot it."
Deer were gifted by Queen Victoria to the colony of Queensland in the 1870s and remain at large in Ipswich.
"Some of those deer ended up near Moggill on the other side of the river," Cr Tully said.
"They are powerful swimmers and they escaped about 30 years ago from a property.
"We had one running through North Ipswich last year and there was one in Booval five years ago.
"They have been seen near the Goodna RSL and there is a heard in bushland between Collingwood Park and New Chum.
"I saw one on the Ipswich Motorway. Drivers don't expect to confront a deer.
"Their legs buckle and they come up over the bonnet, so they are very dangerous.
"They are timid, but they have big antlers and if anyone went near one they could gore you and kill you."
RSPCA Queensland spokesperson Michael Beatty said feral red deer was a council matter but urged that they be "treated humanely" when caught.
Under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002, it is an offence to introduce red deer into Queensland. The maximum penalty is $22,000.
"Since 1977, we have given tribute to a non-native animal which has been a declared pest for the past four years," Cr Tully said.
"We may as well put the cane toad or fire ant on our coat of arms instead of Queen Victoria's grand gift to Queensland.
"Campbell Newman should step in and have a statewide competition to find a suitable replacement for this historic absurdity.
"We are the only state in the world where the official crest has a declared pest on it.... and it is a pest from England. So get the pest off the crest."
What image would you like to see replace the red deer on the Queensland coat of arms?
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
- Introduced from UK in 1870s
- A class three pest
- At large in Ipswich
- On state crest since 1977