Residents have raised concerns about wildlife suffering on Hepburn Shire roads and many are calling for reduced speed limits.
About 20 people met to discuss improvements to animal welfare and road safety at Trentham Neighbourhood Centre on Saturday.
Hepburn Wildlife Shelter director Gayle Chappell cares for almost 200 animals, many which have been injured on the shire’s roads.
“I am really thankful that we have the opportunity to help them (injured animals). But I also feel extremely frustrated and exhausted because I just don’t see it changing in the future and I think it is going to get worse,” Ms Chappell said.
I am really thankful that we have the opportunity to help them. But I also feel extremely frustrated and exhausted because I just don’t see it changing in the future.Gayle Chappell, Hepburn Wildlife Shelter director
“Our roads have a tremendous impact on the wildlife. There is a tremendous impact on the individual but there is also an impact on the population of wildlife.”
The Wombat Forestcare and VicRoads forum featured guest speakers who spoke about speed as a contributor to wildlife collisions. Alternative road solutions including under road tunnels and overhead bridges were also discussed.
Hepburn Shire mayor Sebastian Klein said people had been concerned about road kill as a reality of country living for years.
“I think this is a tragic issue. As a representative we have to balance people who might want to get somewhere fast along with the safety of animals and people,” Cr Klein said.
Cr Klein said road kill had not been a focus for council because most roads where incidents occurred were run by VicRoads.
“The point was made at this meeting that it really needs the community to make a noise about this issue,” Cr Klein said.
VicRoads acting regional director Mal Kersting said the authority was looking at a number of solutions.
“We are working closely with the local community to identify ways we can reduce the impact on wildlife. Safety is our key priority, which is why we are looking at a range of ideas and solutions to keep animals and drivers safe on and near our roads.”