Monday, September 28, 2009

transition towns: dandenong ranges

adapting our communities to climate change and peak oil

I was pleased to help facilitate funding for this important community strengthening workshop. I was approached by some interested community members about funding for Transition Towns training. I was keen to support the workshop, make cost of the workshops more affordable and see the training delivered locally. Many people have expressed an interest in Transition Towns and Energy Descent Plans for townships across the Dandenongs.

Kevin and I at the Tecoma Community Garden, Kevin is the most amazing recycler I have ever come across. This arbour he created is made of old ladders which were being thrown away. The Tecoma Community Garden gives people the opportunity to garden in a social and caring environment and is a practical way to play a role in Transistioning your Town.

This workshop is both a practical and informative introduction to the logic and framework of the Transition Towns model. This grassroots international movement builds localised and resilient communities in response to climate change and peak oil. The workshop is both informative and experiential, weaving together practice and theory, and the transition required at both the personal and community level in order to build a resilient and sustainable community.

Saturday Oct 31st & Sunday Nov 1st, 2009
9:30am - 5:30pm, both days

Birdsland Environmental Education Centre, Birdsland Reserve, McNicol Rd, Belgrave

$55 / $35 concession
Limited spaces available
Advance bookings & payment required

RSVP by 25th October to Kristy Henderson at

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

photos for

The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) is taking part in the International Day of Climate Action by organising an online photo gallery of sustainable living. They are collecting 350 photos of people living sustainable lives to be shared online in an image gallery from October 24.

All you need to do is take photos of yourself / family / friends with your favourite sustainable technology or activity. It could be you taking public transport to work, showing off your new solar hot water system or water tank, or your household having a vegie dinner.

Send your photo direct to Be sure to include your first name and the location of the photo. If you'd like to know more visit the ATA Global Day of Action site.

For more info on International Day of Climate Action around the world join

stop press...stop press...Local events for are being organised, watch this space for more info...

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Friday, September 25, 2009

heliport halted

report from the roundtable – 22 Sep

At this week’s council meeting, councillors had to consider an application for a heliport at Balgownie Estate in Yarra Glen. I had concerns about the application, so when Cr McRae moved a motion to refuse the application I readily seconded the motion.

The Yarra Valley is one of Yarra Ranges jewels, I'm not convinced that tourists are going to enjoy the tranquility and spectacular vistas of the region with helicopters buzzing overhead 12 times a day.
I was concerned about the impact on residents and tourists to the Yarra Valley. The Yarra Valley is a place with high landscape values prized by locals and visitors alike and I thought the helipad was an undesirable intensification that would not enhance the region.
I was concerned for the locals, children and adults, who are still deeply traumatised by the sound of helicopters after the Black Saturday bushfires. Even though this is not a planning matter we need to take into consideration the significant trauma suffered by locals and as a resident of the Dandenong Ranges I know that helicopter activity in Summer means danger.

The region is zoned Green Wedge, land that must be protected for its environmental or agricultural values, in this case this is a significant agricultural region of the shire and I cannot see how a stand alone helicopter operation can be considered as operating in conjunction with an agricultural activity. To me this is the baseline for measuring applications in Green Wedge, if the use is not compatible with environmental or agricultural purpose then it probably isn’t a good fit.

The application is not complimentary to the area, it is intrusive to the community and tourists who visit a green and tranquil place and we want it to stay this way.
Councillors voted unanimously to refuse the application.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

vision 2020, reviewed and ratified

report from the roundtable – 22 Sep

At this meeting council endorsed and adopted our Community Plan Vision 2020. Vision 2020 was first developed in 1999 and represents the aspirations of our community and what they envisage in the future for Yarra Ranges. We have just been through a review process to check in with community that the vision still represents their aspirations.
From the review came the identification of ten community priorities and it is no surprise to me that Ecological Sustainability tops the list. Other priorities include:
Connecting the community
Council’s role – good governance
Affordable and sustainable housing
Youth and children
Ageing population
Localising the economy
Mental and physical health
What really impresses me about this review of Vision 2020 is the amount of children involved in the review, I believe for the first time. 196 children participated in a survey and artwork program with a further 31 participating in a children’s workshop.

It is an impressive document, a true vision for our community and council will use it to guide us in all our activities.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

etc talks train failures

Earlier this week I attended the Select Committee on Train Services public hearing to give evidence on behalf of the Eastern Transport Coalition. The committee was set up to inquire into the factors leading to and causes of failures in the provision of metropolitan and V/Line train services.

Boarding data shows a clear commuter preference for express trains, with maximum loads on these trains and "stopping all stations" trains carrying significant lower loads. The failure of the system to provide adequate express services represents further failure in the system, whilst infrastructure, single, double or triple tracks are a major determinant of system capacity.

For the ETC there are two key factors that have caused a failure in the provision of train services
Failure to invest sufficient funds since 1960
Failure to plan for new extensions and increases in capacity of rail over the same time

The failure is evidenced by
Overcrowded services on existing lines
Total reliance on inefficient buses to undertake trunk operations in under serviced areas (Rowville / Doncaster / Yarra Ranges)
Inability of the system to cope with increases in patronage
High car ownership levels in the outer east
This can be resolved by
Capacity increases on Belgrave, Lilydale, Cranbourne, Pakenham and Glen Waverley Lines
An extension of heavy rail from Huntingdale to Rowville
A fixed heavy rail line to Doncaster

For 50 minutes I spoke on a range of issues in relation to train services and their failures in the East, the discussion also turned to bus services, the bus service reviews and better integrated public transport services across the east of Melbourne.
For Yarra Ranges key points included increasing the capacity of the Ringwood/Belgrave/Lilydale lines, track duplications and triplications and over used car parks along the rail lines. Also up for discussion was the lack of integration between buses and trains, particularly evening peak services.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

awesome ornithorinkids

Today I went to learn more about our local platypus population in the Monbulk Creek. The Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group had organised Awesome “Ornithorinkids”, a chance for children to learn about what they can do to help our platypus in the wild.

Part of the children's activities was naming this friendly platypus, in the end she was dubbed 'Tilly'.

The afternoon was full of activities with children getting their face painted, making platypus, colouring in, playing games with the help of the Len Jeffrey Pre School from Belgrave South.

Low flows of Monbulk Creek are a likely contributor to the drop in platypus numbers in the Monbulk Creek.

Dr Rod Armistead spoke to the group about the water quality of Monbulk Creek, recent platypus activity and platypus counts that have seen a drop in the local population. Rod talked about how important it was to make sure platypus had good habitat and food sources. He also spoke of the danger of rubbish to platypus, particularly plastic, fishing line/nets and elastic/hair bands.

This is Rod and I in front of a section of Belgrave Lake where a significant infestation of Willows has been removed by the Melbourne Waterways Alliance. Platypus numbers are most likely at sites where substantial numbers of native trees and shrubs grow on the banks. It won't be long before natural regeneration will see this part of the waterway return to good health.

Part of the day included a walk to inspect the recent willow removals in the Belgrave Lake (see blog). Willows create an impenetrable mat which prevents platypus from feeding in that part of the lake, their leaves contain a chemical that has an adverse effect on water quality so they are bad news for our local platypus.

From left to right: Merlin Brown - Friends of Monbulk Ck Colby Drive, Hilary Doulton - Belgrave South Community House, Darcy Duggan - Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group, Cr Samantha Dunn - Lyster ward, Jackie Glenn - Southern Dandnongs Landcare Group, Vicki Boyle - Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group and Anne Elizabeth - Friends of Hazelvale Valley. All passionate about our environment and committing many volunteer hours to the task of making our environment weed free and in good health.

It was a great day out and we all got some tips about how to spot our local platypus and the part we can play in making sure their ongoing survival. Well done to the SDLG, it was a great learning experience for young and old alike!

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yarra valley open studio hits the ground running

Yarra Valley Open Studios was a great success over this weekend. I found myself travelling from McMahons Creek, where I visited local artist Christine Goode right through to Julia Peddie, a painter, in Healesville. I also popped in on the Marysville artists showing their work at the Church St Gallery.

Julia Peddie, painter from Healesville with one of her works. Julia's works have great depth, built up layer upon layer. She now finds herself moving on from a focus on bushfire to regeneration which is the subject of this piece.

Artists were excited about the success of the Open Studio weekend, their visitor books overflowing with entries and positive feedback. I look forward to seeing this event become a regular entry on our annual events calendar. Well done to all involved.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

stop the shop

On Friday night I went to STOP the SHOP, a Tecoma Village Action Group fundraiser, to fight the Tecoma Supermarket application at VCAT.

Artists donated their time, local traders donated their goods and the Burrinja café donated its space all in support of seeing this supermarket development stopped.

The VCAT hearing is still progressing, with another hearing day scheduled for the 19th October.

The proposed development is an oversized, ugly abomination and completely out of character for Tecoma and the Dandenong Ranges. The application was unanimously refused by council at its meeting on the 10th March, 2009 (see

The night was well supported by locals across the region. TVAG reported that they are still short of their fundraising target, so if you can help, get in touch with them!

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Park bike cages on our turf, say eastern councils

Eastern Transport Coalition media release:

New model bike cages that save space and improve cyclists’ security are needed in Melbourne’s outer east,a council transport advocacy group has said.

The Eastern Transport Coalition, representing one million residents of the city’s outer east, have submitteda list of priority stations to the office of Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky.

ETC chair and Yarra Ranges Cr Samantha Dunn said the group was invited to submit the priority needs list during a meeting with advisers to Ms Kosky and she now hoped for a positive response – and swift action.

“The Brumby Government has invested more than $1million in a program to install the new bike cages, or Parkiteers, and we applaud this innovative program,” Cr Dunn said.

“But we think it’s time that some of that innovation was shared with our region.

“A total of 23 cages were installed last year, 18 of them in metropolitan Melbourne, and the Government committed to funding another 10 Parkiteers this year.

“The ETC represents more than one million people living in Melbourne’s outer east, but of the 18 metro locations provided with a Parkiteer to date only four are on train lines that service any of our seven member municipalities.”

The priority list submitted in writing to Ms Kosky’s office this week included Belgrave and Lilydale stations,both important transport hubs for the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

Other stations identified as priorities for the region were:
􀂃 Ringwood station
􀂃 Laburnum station
􀂃 Yarraman station
􀂃 Upper Ferntree Gully station

Cr Dunn said she looked forward to a reply from the Minister’s office, and to an announcement that would lead to improved services for cyclist commuters across the region.

The Eastern Transport Coalition represents about one million people living in the municipalities of Yarra Ranges, Monash, Whitehorse, Dandenong, Manningham, Knox and Maroondah. The ETC advocates for better public transport to reduce the level of car dependency and secure the economic, social andenvironmental wellbeing of Melbourne's outer east.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

10/30 to 15/40

If you thought 10/30 was an ill informed decision, then what about 15/40 for our schools? I learnt just over a week ago that Selby Primary School was going to be affected by tree removal works along with 31 other schools (28 of them in the Yarra Ranges). There was no detail, no explanation other than a quote from the DEECD “While recognising the significance and value of the trees to the school landscape, their loss is significantly outweighed by the safety of students and staff”.

Once again we have a government who are making decisions to remove trees without any evidence that it will protect the safety of students and staff in the event of a bushfire.

To make matters worse the school put out a newsletter saying the Shire of Yarra Ranges were aware of the clearing at schools – the only reason the Shire knew of any tree removal at any school was due to an outpouring of concern from many of the schools affected.

Happier times at Selby Primary School. When I inspected a plan of the proposed removal of trees and vegetation at Selby Primary School I was very concerned. The plan did not delineate the boundary of the school and trees outside of the school boundary (not on school property) had been marked for removal. This is unacceptable, unlawful and leaves me with little confidence in the process used to assess vegetation at schools across the Yarra Ranges.

When I finally saw a plan of the proposed tree removals at Selby Primary I realised that 3 of the trees on the plan were Shire of Yarra Ranges trees, 30 metre plus stringybarks at that. As it turns out there are five schools where the boundary is unclear and there could be many mistakes made in identifying which trees are allowed to be removed.

Last week I wrote to the Minister for Education, Browyn Pike MP about my concerns and said “I look forward to a prompt response to the matters I have raised, particularly in relation to the flawed tree removal plan for Selby Primary School and look for urgent assurances that no tree off of school land will be removed as part of this exercise in futility.”

To date I have not received a direct response from the Minister or my local member and have no assurance that these trees won’t be removed, let alone provided with an explanation and evidence as to how this tree removal will protect the safety of students and staff.

One of the trees scheduled for removal at Selby Primary School. School Principals and school councils have had no ability to provide genuine input into this decision, which in reality they have had no control over as the decision was already made for them, as expressed in the circular to parents ‘School Bushfire Refuges’. In the case of Selby Primary School should the tree removal plan be followed this will see the illegal removal of non school trees and liability of this transferred to the school Principal and school council.

This isn’t good enough, it seems the government has carefully crafted the communication of its tree removal plans so parents have had little opportunity to respond before the start of the school holidays. Selby Primary School was inspected on the 4th August, some 6 weeks ago, allowing plenty of opportunity for consultation. I congratulate those school councils and principals who have stood up to the government on the 15/40 issue.

Fire science principles do not support tree removal as an appropriate mechanism to protect students and staff, nor communities for that matter from bushfire attack.

In many of the schools the trees proposed for removal are isolated, scattered trees with no understorey, usually paved underneath or bare dirt. Fire science says that these scattered trees are highly unlikely to contribute to any additional radiant heat or ember attack in the event of a bushfire. There is evidence to support that these trees may reduce wind speeds at a local level therefore reducing the severity of fire to surrounding buildings.

Further to this the CFA recommends that a protective shield of trees be planted around houses to slow the wind, cut down radiant heat and catch flying embers. These principles should also be applied to our schools.

Aside from closing schools on days of Total Fire Ban a genuine effort to reduce fire severity would be a continued effort to reduce fire fuel within school grounds. The CFA is also explicit in its definition of
fire fuels: dead undergrowth, fallen branches, woodpiles, leaves in gutters, long dry grass, fallen leaves and twigs, anything smaller in diameter than your little finger is a fine fuel and it is these that must be removed to protect against bushfire attack.

The CFA’s publication ‘Living in the Bush: Bushfire Survival Plan Workbook’ clearly states “Trees are not the major threat. Many people think trees are the major threat during a bushfire. However, the fire front is carried by the undergrowth, such as shrubs and tall grasses rather than the trees. The main issue with trees is their bark. Loose flaky or ribbon bark can contribute to ember attack.”

Trees provide our children with shade in summer and a rich and valuable learning environment. Trees also contribute significantly to the local amenity and habitat of not only the school grounds, but the surrounding areas as well. I have further concerns that the proposed tree removal will lead to a false sense of security with the future potential for tragic outcomes.

Parents, students and staff not only deserve, but require an explanation and rationale for tree removal and the ability to input into decisions about their school. It is disrespectful to school communities, the principles of community consultation and open and transparent government to do anything less.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

farewell donna, welcome rod

This week I presided over the elections at the Belgrave Trader’s Association AGM. The meeting saw Donna Burgess stand down as president, a role she’s held for the past 3 years. Donna’s commitment and passion for Belgrave has not faltered over that time and she has contributed much time and effort into promoting Belgrave.

I’m pleased to advise the following traders were elected to the committee:
President Rodney Kaye, Duncans Cellars
Vice PresidentGary Felstead, Curves
SecretaryGeorge Harman, George Harman and Associates
TreasurerMichael Alexander, Belgrave Dry Cleaners
General Committee members:
Brad Merrit – Oscars Ale Bar
Charmaine Jeffrey – Bendigo Bank, Belgrave
Arthur Kyriakos – Belgrave Chemist
Glenn Chandler – Bell Real Estate
Tracy Taylor – Wicked Lady and Mantra Wellbeing

I look forward to an ongoing excellent working relationship.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

hazelwood in a haze

Today I joined with hundreds of other Victorians to highlight to the Victorian Government the need for urgent action on climate change and a transition plan to renewable energy.

People had come from far and wide, it was great to see a wonderful representation from across the Yarra Ranges.

Greens Senator, Scott Ludlam was there, in addressing the rally Scott said “hundreds of people have gathered here today because the old political parties have failed to act. This filthy dinosaur was meant to have been shut down in 2005. Instead of the clean jobs transition so desperately needed in the Latrobe Valley it has been licensed to pollute till 2031.”

This group of Dandenong Ranges locals were there as the “Wombat Warriors”.

The Sherbrooke Community School was there, this group of socially aware students want to see urgent action on climate change.

Warburton locals were there as the Ministry of Energy, Resources and Silly Walks and did a great job entertaining the crowd.

Their future is in our hands, what will you tell your grandchildren you did to combat climate change?

Me, Steve Meacher from the Climate Emergency Network in Healesville and Senator Scott Ludlam.

The Power Shift youth were there performing for the crowd.

Warburton local Alvyn Williams and I chat sustainability and co-housing.

David Spratt, co-author of Climate Code Red, was there, we talked about the importance of providing a sustainable way forward for the workers at Hazelwood.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

YOUthdecide – voting starts this week

Calling all young people to vote in the Youth Referendum YOUthdecide.

Youth Decide '09 is a national youth vote on climate change. The Australian Youth Climate Coalition is giving Australia’s 4.8 million young people the chance to vote on what kind of world they want to inherit. It’s an opportunity to tell the government the sort of targets you want them to be talking about at the climate talks in Copenhagen later this year.

Part of raising awareness included the youth summit,
Powershift, where young people across Australia came together to learn about the latest climate science and the action required to seriously act on climate change.

I sponsored a group of students from local secondary school, Sherbrooke Community School, to attend Powershift as well as two of the Shire’s
young leaders, Nerida Lennon and Jaymie Rudd.

Here’s some feedback I got from the students at Sherbrooke Community School.

“We spoke to people from other high schools from our region on what their school is doing to be sustainable. We concluded that our school was doing pretty well but we can still do better.

In my group I said our school has got:
a 5.2 kW photovoltaic solar system
tank water used in the toilets
a specialised bin system where all food scraps are composted and paper and recyclable material is recycled
two sheep who mow the lawns
a developing fruit tree orchard
a newly built chook shed
revegetation strategy
a new conservation area
a plan to eradicate weeds in the school
a vegie patch transforming into a Koorie garden
and an enviro group to make these things happen

And a girl from a prominent Melbourne private school said WOW you have a lot of things at your school we planted daises at the front of our school.

That really told me something. Nothing against private schools well but our school totally kicked some butt when it came to sustainability.”

Great work Sherbrooke, your actions for a sustainable future set a benchmark for other schools to follow!

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Friday, September 11, 2009

peak oil plan gets approval

report from the roundtable - 8 sep

Report from the Roundtable is my regular report back on the council meeting.

This week saw council vote on whether to support the development of a Peak Oil Response Motion that I put to them. The vote was tight with the motion being supported 4 votes for to 3 votes against.

For: Crs Samantha Dunn, Tim Heenan, Len Cox

and Terry Avery.
Against: Crs Graham Warren, Richard Higgins

and Chris Templer.
Absent: Crs Jeanette McRae and Noel Cliff

Motion :
a) That council develops a peak oil response plan for the Shire of Yarra Ranges.
b) That the plan consider matters such as council’s operations and vulnerability to oil supply constraints in the context of a short or long term reduction in available fuel supplies as well as impacts on the Shire of Yarra Ranges community.
c) That funding for the peak oil response plan be referred to the mid year budget review for consideration.

At a recent MAV conference I attended I was alerted to current trends in relation to Peak Oil and the issue of declining oil supplies across the world and the need to consider peak oil as a business contingency, risk management issue for local government operations.

With the predicted declining oil production, it is critical that council plans for likely high oil prices and reduced supply of oil to avoid the worst of consequences in Yarra Ranges. Oil scarcity has significant implications for local government and a recent Peak Oil Contingency Plan developed for Maribyrnong City Council indicated issues around staff travel, community mobility, food security, disadvantaged communities, climate change, new technologies, service delivery model changes and communication.

It is accepted that peak oil is an emerging risk to local government and Yarra Ranges Council should be proactive in developing a plan to respond to peak oil and an oil constrained future. I’m pleased that the motion received majority support, this is an issue that we need to focus on as it will not be long before it is impacting on the Shire of Yarra Ranges and its community.

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cockatoos under review

report from the roundtable - 8 sep

Good news for all those residents calling for a legal framework to deal with the issue of cockatoo damage to property.

At this week’s council meeting I moved a motion to explore the possibility of a local law to deal with people who continue to feed cockatoos (see

The motion was supported unanimously by councillors (note: Crs Jeanette McRae and Noel Cliff were apologies). In the past the notion of a bylaw to deal with the issue of cockatoos was talked about when Upwey was under attack in 2008, however nothing was brought to council for consideration.

I made a commitment to residents at a public meeting in Kallista to explore the ability to have a legal framework to deal with the issue of residents who continue to feed cockatoos in the full knowledge that these cockatoos are causing damage to neighbouring properties.

The shire is also working with the DSE on education materials to inform residents of the consequences of feeding cockatoos. Residents will be receiving a flyer in the near future.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

clearing concerns top the talk

The new vegetation controls were the talk of the town at this month's Kallista market (on Saturday). Many residents expressed their concern to me about the new '10/30 right' vegetation controls. Their greatest concern that the environment they value and love now has the potential be decimated under the new 10/30 rights.

The one size fits all is not a good approach to vegetation management. The Shire of Yarra Ranges has enjoyed strong vegetation controls with protections enshrined in the Planning and Environment Act. That is up until last week when the Brumby government decided to amend the Upper Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges Regional Strategy Plan which saw an end to our vegetation controls which the community has fought long and hard for.

Cleaning up fine fire fuels is the best way to make your property safer and that includes regular gutter cleaning and sometimes roof sweeping too.

Now we find that our iconic landscapes are under threat from ill informed laws that will not protect our communities from the threat of bushfire.

This measure will not make all houses safer. The science is clear, trees around your house reduce both wind speed and ember attack - two of the most important factors in house survivability, and this is reiterated on the CFA website in information around fire preparedness. This was further reiterated in testimony by one of the CSIRO's bushfire experts, Justin Leonard to the Royal Commission hearings.

We are fortunate to live in a unique environment, some areas are of state significance, Yarra Ranges requires a far more sophisticated approach to vegetation management if we are protect our scenic values and biodiversity. Imagine if landowners actually applied the 10/30 rights, we would see wholesale change in our environment whilst exacerbating the risk of landslip and erosion.

A new group, Living with the bush, has been launched in response to the 10/30 rights. Living with the Bush says “Improving community safety in the face of increasing risk from bushfires is not a choice between human welfare and environmental integrity. This is a false choice and if pursued will result in giving people a false sense of security while ignoring other more important safety measures."

If you are one of the many residents concerned about the new 10/30 rights, and I know a lot of you are from the amount of conversations I have already had about this issue, I recommend you visit to the Living with the Bush

I'm told that their membership is nearing 200 already, this is clearly an issue of grave concern to the community.

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

council considers cockatoo curb

At this week’s council meeting I intend to move the following motion in response to a commitment I gave community members at a recent public meeting in Kallista about the ongoing problem with cockatoos.

Motion :
That a report be prepared for Council examining options for prohibiting or discouraging the feeding of cockatoos in the Shire of Yarra Ranges. Options to be investigated should include the following alternatives:

(a) the use of the existing Animal Control Law, which regulates the way in which feed may be stored;
(b) the use of the nuisance provisions of the Health Act to either regulate or prohibit feeding;
(c) the creation of a new local law, or the amendment of an existing Animal Control Local Law, to prohibit feeding altogether.

The report should be delivered to council by the last meeting of November, 2009. The report should address the legal and operational implications of each option and recommend the most effective mechanism for reducing the impact of cockatoos on Yarra Ranges communities.

Background/Supporting Information :
At a recent public meeting in Kallista the issue of feeding of cockatoos was raised, specifically regarding those residents who continue to feed cockatoos and by doing so cause damage to neighbouring properties.

It was recognised that education was a key focus to assist residents to understand that feeding cockatoos has the unintended consequence of damage to timber, mortar, power supply lines and various other fixtures on public and private property.

This view is supported by the DSE and can be referenced in their Living with Wildlife 1 factsheet “For example, cockatoos need to chew items to maintain their beaks at the correct length and condition. They generally achieve this by chewing bark and branches in their roost trees. When people give them food, they tend to hang around near where they are fed.

They also have more “free time” as they don’t need to forage. This can result in cockatoos chewing on timber fittings, outdoor furniture, other household fittings or vegetation on neighbouring properties. The best solution is to find out who is feeding the birds and ask them to stop.”

However there are still residents who refuse to stop feeding cockatoos and are having a deleterious affect on their neighbour’s health, wellbeing and amenity. It is clear that enforcement has a role to play in curbing feeding of cockatoos for those residents who will not stop feeding through an educative process.

It is for this reason that I propose the Shire investigates various mechanisms to provide a legal framework to address the issue of backyard feeding of cockatoos.

I do hope my colleagues support the motion, people in the region are frustrated, angry and upset about the ongoing damage to their property caused by the feeding of cockatoos. It must be recognised that any action council may take will only impact on backyard feeders, there is still the issue of feeding at Grant’s Picnic Ground, but that one I'll be taking up with our local MP and the state government.

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