Plans to cull more than 1600 kangaroos in ACT nature reserves have been delayed for at least another week.
Members of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal will next week tour a number of the eight reserves where the ACT government wants to cull 1606 eastern grey kangaroos.
The expedition on May 29 will begin a three-day legal challenge to the planned cull.
The cull was scheduled to begin last week, with two shooters working at unspecified times until the end of July.
But tribunal appeal president Bill Stefaniak ordered last week a halt to the cull until a stay application by a Canberra animals rights group could be heard.
That group won a second stay on the cull on Tuesday, until the tribunal can hear the challenge. Mr Stefaniak extended the suspension until after next week’s hearing.
Animal Liberation ACT will dispute the validity of a licence issued by the Conservator of Flora and Fauna to conduct the cull.
It is expected to argue the licence should be set aside because the decision had been based on false data and would not help the environment.
On Tuesday, the group’s legal team applied for a stay until the substantive matter could be heard, arguing that allowing the cull to go ahead would undermine its challenge.
But government solicitors argued a shorter window to conduct the cull would reduce its effectiveness and help activists break the law and disrupt the shooting.
The tribunal heard culls were planned to coincide with the most appropriate time in the life cycle of kangaroos and their young, and to protect public safety, as fewer Canberrans visited the reserves in the coldest, darkest months.
Government lawyers argued a stay actually helped the activists disrupt the cull by giving them a shorter period to stake out the reserves.
Last year, the cull was stopped temporarily after protesters sounded air horns and charged across the Pinnacle Nature Reserve.
Earlier during the hearing, Mr Stefaniak refused an attempt by activists to have him stood down from the matter.
The organisation withdrew concerns over the former Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly’s comments regarding kangaroo shooting while in office, after hearing the Parliamentary Privileges Act prohibited it relying on the material.
It claimed Mr Stefaniak could be viewed as biased as he had sat on previous kangaroo cull challenges.
Mr Stefaniak declined to recuse himself and noted three members would sit on the substantive hearing.