What an extraordinary disease our poor ol’ Tassie devil has developed. Only ten years ago they were at all time highs and now their numbers have plummeted with a contagious cancer.

And it seems we don’t know what’s causing this malady. Going on the quoted figures produced by DPIWE Hag is very glad she is not a devil; although she has been known to exhibit some devilish characteristics, notably snarling and swaying on all fours …
But, to concentrate for a moment, it seems to Hag observing from the sidelines, that the political masters directing the play are making extremely muddle-headed decisions.

For example, for all his undoubted skills, overall point man Alistair Scott is not a scientist and yet he, poor thing, is expected to manage a science-based disease program.

If this investigation is about science and not about politics, then how about putting a true-blue scientist in charge and be the talking-head to boot!

And the DFTD probe has been divided into three sub-programs: (1) a captive management/insurance population program,(2) a field survey group to check out where the devils are or aren’t and (3) a diagnostic & research group work out what the heck’s behind this scary disease.

Hag is sure all three sections constantly talk to one another. But people very rarely think freely in divided groups particularly when they have a political minder as their manager. They might politely talk together, exchange information and they make compromises….but are they able to work in frustrated isolation … or do they?

Funding for a key scientist has just run out

Hag also hears the DFTD Progress Report in general has left knowledgeable observers distinctly underwhelmed ….in some areas it is vague and insubstantial and in other areas tries to be overly technical and therefore tries to create academic distance with the general reader. It is also poorly crafted as a finished work although the data it is reporting sounds very valuable indeed. Perhaps this explains, in part, why they haven’t published a scientific article to date. Political ‘smoke and mirrors’ with science waiting in the wings.

And perhaps most astonishing of all Hag hears that funding for a key scientist has just run out … and this highly experienced and knowledgeable expert is so discombobulated by this that this scientist is prepared to work for nothing, such is this expert’s commitment to running down the killer of 100,000 poor little devils.

And as it happens it’s not the first time there’s been a few breaks in the DFTD team. At least a couple of DFTD vets have already left the team feeling hood-winked, disgruntled and the bemused! Are these unavoidable changes of the guard or changing the deck chairs on the Titanic?

Hag is loathe say … but all this points to an arrogant control-freak political management (at the highest level) that really does not want to hear or recognise those outside its organisation.

How many devils need to die before DPIWE acknowledges their plight by listing the devil as a threatened species. And how long are they going to play the long game before they come to the realisation that to ask for assistance from outside is a sign of political maturity.

Maybe it’s time for some transparency and openness……if we’re not up to it, let somebody else have a go.

Earlier (with full links at the end):
Why the devils are dying?