Australian town plans to remove brumbies for crossing roads

Brumbies may be declared pests in north Queensland due to accidents on Bruce Highway


Brumbies are causing problems on the Bruce Highway north of Townsville by wandering onto the road and causing accidents. ()

In an effort to stop brumbies roaming on to the Bruce Highway and causing accidents, the wild animals may be declared a pest species under Townsville’s animal management act.

by Paula Tapiolas
The State Government estimates up to 200 brumbies are running in a corridor in the Northern Beaches and it wants the council to declare them a pest species to stop any more fatalities on the roads.

Early last month a man died when his motorbike hit a horse on the Bruce Highway at Bluewater.

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper held a roundtable meeting this week to find solutions to the wild horse problem.

He wants council to declare brumbies a pest animal in Townsville’s division one area so they can be handled under the Animal Management Plan.

“The National Parks guys have been terrific. They know what they need to do,” Mr Harper said.

“There’s been some recent fencing upgrades along that boundary to stop the incidents of brumbies entering that northern corridor.

“There is more work to do in this space, there’s no doubt about it.”

Townsville Division One Councillor Sue Blom said council will consider the proposal.

“It’s become a problem for the people in division one because we’ve just lost one of our family members out there. It doesn’t really matter whose problem it is, it needs to be solved,” she said.

Councillor Blom said council staff are now investigating how the brumbies could be managed and who will pay.

“There’s been about 200 horses identified on the State Forest land,” she said.

“Council owns and the ratepayers own a lot of land up through that corridor and we have no clue how many are on our land.

“I had a report yesterday of 11 of them walking down Bluewater Drive in one group. That’s not the State Government’s responsibility.

“But the way our local laws policy reads at the moment, we can capture domestic animals, and impound them but when it comes to these wild horses, it’s a very grey area for us.”

Councillor Blom said some of the horses may be family pets which run with the brumbies during the day.

“Some people are concerned that their horses get out during the day and possibly they run with these groups, and they’re concerned that their family pets may end up getting euthanased,” she said.

“So what council would do would be capture them, pen them, work out who owns what and that’s when a decision would be made on those that don’t have owners.”

Public consultation sessions are planned for the future and local residents are advised to attend.


  1. The brumbies as u call the horses should NOT b euthanized just because some people don’t know how to drive their motor vehicle around them SLOWLY while they’re present. Common sense would tell you 2 slow down! I don’t care where your from…Australia or the U.S. or elsewhere.
    I think it’s terrible the way humans treat these beautiful animals. They made your for fathers way into this world world ALOT easier. They provided us transportation..a way 2 plow out fields..we raced them & still do! So NO do not kill them just because of people being careless while driving past them anywhere. Put up more fences..but no euthanasia please. God does not condone this


    • Absolutely agree, Sharon and Terri, people CAUSE the problems, then blame it on the horses. I posted this article early in the morning, and omitted a commentary that should’ve pointed this out, so I’m glad you both made these observations.


    • Arent these great? Does prove some people/countries are THINKING! Where are the thinkers here??? Certainly seems like this same kind of thing would work for horses – maybe it does already – for instance – in Montana – the underpass. We have intelligent caring people – but certainly done utilize them – not in regard to the wild horses & burros.


  2. People are just plain stupid. If they know wildlife is in areas it’s easy to just slow down. Truth be known, man doesn’t read, drives motorized vehicles like he has blinders on, and drives to fast for conditions. They generally don’t wear helmets or any other protective gear when operating a motorcycle. It’s much the same in our western states, hell, all over this country. I’ve spent enough time on the roads in my life to see how people drive and that many are accidents just waiting to happen. Instead they want to blame everything else other than their bad driving habits. This is just an excuse for killing more horses as they do that in Australia. Sorry as the BLM in this country.. It’s sick.


  3. Well of course….don’t blame reckless drivers…blame the Brumbies.
    Read a sample of the reader comments:

    Queensland’s Bruce Highway ranked in top 25 of world’s most dangerous roads

    The RACQ says the notoriety could drive away both interstate and international visitors and discourage locals from taking their holidays along the coast.

    Reader Comments

    “Ideally they need to build a new highway. Triple lane from cairns to gold coast, bypass every single friggin town and make it an overpass all the way. Too much money tho. So instead upgrade from maryborough to sunshine coast because that it a shocking part of the highway.”

    “qld drivers are the worst, you only have to commute on the pacific to see this tailgating…,sitting in the right hand lanes and refusing to move over for overtaking vehicles. why are trucks allowed to go in the right hand lanes, they are speed limited to 100 so they should be in the left hand lanes…police hiding in bushes on motorways so everyone suddenly breaks leads to accidents too. i’m amazed how some people get their license…its hardly surprising so many die on the roads in qld, no one understands the road rules to begin with…police are too considered about getting people for speeding on the motorways instead of booking people for dangerous driving.”

    “yes nick they need to stop giving licenses to kids with nappy rash, and it is all about revenue raising now. Our over taking lanes are the best for idiots when they speed up in the left lane when they are being overtaken, the cops do it as well.”

    “Bruce Highway is nothing close to HIGHWAY standard for its curves, chips and poor maintenance.”

    “I have to agree with a lot of other people here who are stating that we cannot only blame the standard of the roads for the casualties and accidents that occur. I absolutely dread driving in most places in South East Queensland due to the incredibly shocking drivers on the roads. I truly fare for my own safety and passengers in my car. Although this is a problem Australia-wide and no place has “perfect” drivers, South East Queensland has to have some of the worst drivers in the country. Tailgating, speeding, road rage, no indicator use, its almost as if everyone on the roads is having a big race. I notice it straight away driving into the Gold Coast from Northern NSW. Its like suddenly entering a playground of inadequate drivers that have just got their licenses.”

    “Is it the highway at fault or the impatient idiots that think it is a raceway, while talking or texting on the mobile?”

    “Why do you think we locals called it the Bruce Holeway?”


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