REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: Dear oh deer - Bambi's the bullseye as it's game over called on feral pest

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by Port Macquarie News editor Tracey Fairhurst.

ANYONE who has watched the 1942 animated Disney classic Bambi will attest that if you aren't left emotionally tormented as the end credits roll, you do not have a heart.

The American Film Institute has rated it as the third greatest US film of all time in the animated genre and not surprisingly, in 2007 Time magazine included it in its top 25 horror movies because it "has a primal shock that still haunts oldsters who saw it 40, 50, 65 years ago".

For the record, Bambi's mother did not need to die. What was Walt thinking!

DANGEROUS: Wild deer have been known to cause traffic accidents, destroy crops and damage to gardens.

DANGEROUS: Wild deer have been known to cause traffic accidents, destroy crops and damage to gardens.

Now while fiction is clearly not reality, decades of doe-eyed priming on the big screen and flights of fantasy with one red-nosed Christmas favourite has left many of us with a nostalgic connection linking the wistful imagery of deer roaming freely in the woods with all that was good about being a kid.

It's time to wake up Thumper. Things have changed. The deer have gone feral.

The state government, and no doubt anyone who has a car with the indent of a deer on the bonnet, or a proud gardener left with nothing but stumps on the front lawn, have had enough.

Here in Port Macquarie, they've been described as "cows with antlers" there's so many of them.

In Wollongong, they have taken inspiration from an unlikely source: Winston Churchill. Possibly not in the context the British PM expected but the Illawarra is indeed fighting deer on the beaches. And, there's a call for that to change.

The state government is looking to introduce a regulation to remove the game status of deer. That would put deer on a level playing field with other pest animals like foxes, rabbits, feral goats and pigs, and allow gun licence holders to shoot feral deer on private property.

CLOSED DOWN: Five Star supermarket has held a prominent spot on Katherine Terrace sine 1926.

CLOSED DOWN: Five Star supermarket has held a prominent spot on Katherine Terrace sine 1926.

Further north, our team has reported on the changing landscape of Katherine's town centre following the introduction of some of the biggest-ever changes to the Northern Territory's alcohol policies.

The Katherine supermarket, established in 1926, has been forced to shut its doors after attempting to operate for the last three months without selling alcohol.

The sad irony is that it is an indication, according to Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles, that the NT's alcohol harm reduction measures "are having a positive impact".

WHAT A FIGHTER: Jasper Lyon is fighting to stay alive. Photo: Steve Lyon

WHAT A FIGHTER: Jasper Lyon is fighting to stay alive. Photo: Steve Lyon

And for a little inspiration, here are two stories that will make you realise that the smallest wins in life can sometimes be the most profound.

In four months he has endured more than most people endure in a lifetime.

The little boy from Port Macquarie has Costello syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects every cell in his body.

Worldwide there are around 300 recorded cases of Costello syndrome. Only two children in the world have the same scale mutation.

EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE: Anthony Mahr with Guide Dog Yoric.

EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE: Anthony Mahr with Guide Dog Yoric.

And when you find that inner fighter, you end up with the inspirational Anthony Mahr.

He was born with Congenital Toxoplasmosis which took most of his eyesight from the age of eight.

Anthony runs parkrun Port Macquarie every week and is now about to take on the City 2 Surf challenge next month in Sydney.

See below for more news and views from around the Australian Community Media network.

Tracey Fairhurst, editor, Port Macquarie News

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