19 April 2024

Call for State Government inquiry following discovery of hundreds of dead horses

| Jarryd Rowley
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Dr Joe McGirr has called on the State Government to hold an inquiry. Photo: File.

Member for Wagga Wagga Dr Joe McGirr has called on the State Government to hold an inquiry following the discovery of 500 dead horses on a Wagga Wagga property.

Dr McGirr expressed his shock and distress over the finding and has called on NSW Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe to gather the appropriate agencies to investigate the matter, believing that Wagga Wagga City Council wasn’t the best equipped agency to lead the investigation.

“A wide range of government agencies have been involved yet there has been no recognition that this is an important matter of public interest, no apparent coordination or details provided about who has been monitoring the process, and the government needs to do better,” Dr McGirr said.

“This is a matter causing a great deal of distress to the community and it’s essential that answers to these questions are provided as soon as possible and measures put into place so it can’t happen again.

READ ALSO Investigations underway as 500 horses found dead on Wagga Wagga property

“We need to know how this was allowed to happen, where the horses were sourced from, in what circumstances they arrived at the property, what role government agencies have played, and who should be held accountable.”

Minister Sharpe has since said she would look to bring together the relevant agencies with great urgency with the aim of providing updates soon.

Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack has shown his frustration regarding an unnamed Wagga Wagga City Councillor who allegedly leaked information to a Sydney radio show earlier this week.

Mr McCormack said he found it deeply disturbing that the general manager of Wagga Wagga City Council had claimed that a councillor had released this information to the media despite being under confidentiality protocols.

“To have a councillor who is willing to do the wrong thing and to go to a radio show for a shock job, it really makes one wonder why you would do it in the first place,” he said.

“This councillor, this person has devolved information that they gained in a confidential briefing. I think that is a breach of what the council stands for.

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“This information wasn’t in the public interest and obviously Wagga Wagga City Council had been working with the proper authorities, with the police for some time and were close to divulging this information anyway.

“This councillor has found the need to breach the trust and confidence of council in a sneaky way and quite frankly, it beggars belief.”

Mr McCormack said he hoped the councillor responsible for the alleged leak would be named and held accountable for their actions.

“When you are elected, you’re expected to uphold what’s best for public interest and I for one do not believe this information was,” he said.

“I certainly don’t blame WWCC if they wish to hold any future investigations closer to the chest, as a member of council has shown they clearly can’t be trusted with confidential information.”

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