Author: Roger Hanney
Posted: Thursday, 21 October 2010

Property managers on Broadway are urging authorities to shoot local cockatoo populations.

In August of this year the strata managers of Sydney Campus Apartments, accommodation on the corner of Broadway and Bay St, claimed that damages of close to $100,000 had been done to their building, among others, by sulphur-crested cockatoos. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) issued a permit to kill up to 20 but the cull halted abruptly after only two had been shot, largely due to negative media coverage and public outcry.

But, as revealed in October by Greens City of Sydney Councillor Irene Doutney, NPWS is again being urged to issue a permit to kill cockatoos in the area. Apparently the only way to make sure that birds don’t damage buildings is to shoot them dead.

“I find it unthinkable that the NPWS could issue a licence for what is such a cruel and obviously ineffective solution,” said Cr Doutney. “Two birds have been killed and another has moved in. Once this one is dead what’s to stop more cockatoos coming along? Will they just kill all of them as well?”

As the City Council was not notified prior to the previous shootings, they have since made representations to NPWS asking for warning before such operations take place in future. As a courtesy, NPWS have informed the council that such action is again being requested.

Although currently in Nagoya, Japan, for the tenth Conference of the Parties to the Rio Convention on Biodiversity, Cr Doutney has issued a statement to NPWS vehemently opposing any inner city shooting of native birds, calling instead for building facades to be repaired with tougher materials.

Asked whether there is a double standard in opposing the shooting of cockatoos in a country that happily kills cows, sheep, chicken, and ducks, a colleague of Cr Doutney pondered that, “I suppose the big difference is that this cull is about killing animals for human convenience whereas for most of history, farming animals to be eaten was necessary for survival. I think this is the same reason why a greater proportion of the population oppose wearing fur than oppose eating meat.”

If you have strong views on the culling of urban cockatoos to protect buildings in and around Broadway, please email michael.thorne@environment.nsw.gov.au so that National Parks and Wildlife can clearly gauge community views before making any decision on the issuing of future permits.

Full story HERE
Roger Hanney, The Hub