CITY of Stirling have put a stop to a planned cull of corellas, a feral bird species given to gathering in large flocks.
A motion put forward by Councillor David Michael stated the City should immediately cease the cull of corellas in favour of a statewide solution and non-lethal methods.
Cr Michael said the plan to cull the troublesome feral native was “cost shifting” and would “waste money”.
“This is not the City’s duty, these birds fly all over ,” he said.
“These birds don’t just hit an imaginary brick wall when they fly out of the City of Stirling.”
Cr Michael said local governments needed to work together to control the issue.
“We need some innovation; it doesn’t take long to Google non-lethal control of corellas such as disrupting their nesting,” he said.
“I don’t think culling them should be our first port of call.
“We need to talk about innovation here; we might as well come up with proper ways to do that before we gas them.”
Cr Terry Tyzack said the City had a responsibility to road users to clean up the “unsightly mess” when corella flocks “absolutely destroy things”.
Cr Karen Caddy was opposed to the motion and said local environmental groups supported the planned cull.
“I understand the point but $3300 is not a large sum for a pest that is causing excessive damage,” she said.
Councillors voted to “urgently” refer the matter to the WA Local Government Association (WALGA).
After 2013 funding cuts, the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) handed the feral native animal culling responsibility to local governments.
The council document stated “most local governments” including Stirling rejected the subsidy program because “the management of wildlife populations should rightly be the responsibility of DPaW”.
The culling of the species was stopped, causing an increase in population.
The City has since had discussions to work with the Cities of Joondalup and Wanneroo for a joint culling operation.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said he was “disappointed” the City had not supported the Government’s proposal to control the problem and ruled out future funding.
“The State Government will not provide any financial support to the City of Stirling unless it resolves to work with the Government and other local authorities in a partnership approach to this problem,” he said.
Mr Jacob said other councils had recognised the need for a co-ordinated approach.
“I understand that the Cities of Joondalup, Wanneroo and Swan support this program,” he said.
“I thank them for taking a more broad scale view than the City of Stirling.
“I will work with other interested local governments on local control programs irrespective of the City of Stirling’s decision.”