HORSHAM city residents will have a say on how corellas are managed in the municipality.
Horsham councillors passed a motion to place the council's draft Corella Management Plan on public exhibition as a "living document" during the 2019-20 corella season.
The plan was created by Rivertech Environment and Cultural Heritage Services over a 12 month period. It was designed to be adaptive and updated as trends emerged and corella management techniques were developed.
Consultants engaged with key stakeholders including the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning; Horsham Land Care; Coughlin Park Committee of Management; Horsham Lawn Tennis Club, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority and council officers to develop the plan.
"In preparation of this plan it became evident that there is a lack of readily available data and there are gaps in information relating to corella damage and specific behaviours of corellas in Horsham," the draft plan said.
"This makes development of this corella management plan difficult at this stage. However it is understood that the plan will be a living document and the development of the Plan iterative as trends become evident and novel corella damage management techniques emerge."
Rivertech consultants suggested a number of management options in the draft plan.
"Options should be achievable, targeted, strategic, informed, safe, humane, cost effective, and easily implemented by a diverse range of stakeholders," the draft plan said.
"Management options should not be limited to a physical interaction, such as scare guns or lethal control, but should also consider changes to natural and built environments that attract and support populations of corellas."
Suggested management options included engineering solutions such as protection of assets through the inclusion of cable sheathing, bird spikes, light-gauge overhead wires and protective covers over sensitive equipment; food minimisation techniques; lethal control by shooting; non-lethal control by shooting towards the birds; scaring devices; and community engagement with a focus on education and acceptance.
The draft plan also included estimated damage costs caused by corellas across Horsham including at City Oval, Dudley Cornell Park, Coughlin Park, Sawyer Park, Sunnyside Park and Racecourse Reserve.
Corellas caused an estimated $25,000 worth of damage in 2016-17; $45,000 in 2017-18; and $27,500 in 2018-19.
The costs didn't include damage caused to private residential properties.
In her report to the council, regulatory services manager Lauren Coman said the responsibility for corella management had been left to local government to facilitate, without resources from the sate government. She said food minimisation trials on council owned property had started.
Horsham councillors discussed the draft plan the council's November 25 meeting.
Councillor Pam Clarke discussed her own experiences with corellas.
"Living on the river we have some real issues with the corellas and the damage they can do our homes, sporting ovals and other facilities around town," she said.
"This document has some very innovative ways about managing corellas without shooting them or gassing them. We need to find ways to deal with them without killing them."
Cr Alethea Gulvin encouraged residents to have their say on the plan.
"I personally have a view on this, but I think it's important that they community has their say as they are the ones who are affected the most by corellas," she said.
A Horsham council spokesman said the consultation period would open before the end of December. He said the form of the consultation was not yet confirmed.
Councillors unanimously passed a motion to place the draft plan on public exhibition.
See council's full November agenda below
West Wimmera council makes management plans
WEST Wimmera Shire Council also discussed corella management options at its ordinary meeting on November 20.
In his report to the council, planning and environment manager David Pietsch said corellas had been an issue for the municipality for many years.
"Over the past decade, there has been various attempts by the council to manage the issue. This
includes taking action around scaring and shooting birds to reduce their numbers and
advocating to the state government to assist Councils in the region to manage the issue," he said.
Councillors passed a motion for officers to undertake a corella scaring program on council managed land in strategic locations during the 2019-2020 corella season.
Council officers will also investigate the possibility of engaging professional falconers to assess their effectiveness in deterring problem flocks of corellas.
The council also passed a recommendation to update the West Wimmera Shire Corella Management Plan in consultation with DELWP and residents.
The plan has to be endorsed by the council prior to the 2020-2021 corella season and may include some of the additional identified options.
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