AFTER 14 years of dealing with corellas, Naracoorte Lucindale Council has had enough.
The council last week approved its most decisive control effort yet - culling 1000 of the pest birds and investigating other measures to move them on from their favourite haunts in Naracoorte.
General inspector Darren Callaghan suggested the action to the October council meeting after only moderate success had been achieved from a range of other methods since the problem was first reported in 1998.
He said after trying methods such as scare guns to deter the corellas from settling in areas such as the swimming lake surrounds and sporting grounds, something more decisive had to be done.
"Corella control is a long-running issue for council," he reported.
"Council has received numerous complaints. Residents adjacent to the Memorial Parklands have reported damage to roofs, aerials and gardens.
"The Naracoorte High School has suffered significant losses in their agricultural teaching area and a number of sporting clubs have had sporting facilities damaged.
"The Naracoorte swimming lake and adjacent Naracoorte Holiday Park is another hot spot for roosting birds and letters have been received from visitors who reported they would not return to Naracoorte unless the corella problem was addressed.
"There is strong community support to address this issue."
Mr Callaghan said the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources was keen to work with the council on a "multi-pronged approach with the support of staff to guide the control program".
This could involve net trapping - for which council staff would be trained - and possibly using a funnel trap which was currently being trialled.
The aims of the program would be to:
- Reduce the number of corellas.
- Aim to move the birds from roosting primarily at the swimming lake and memorial parklands to a more acceptable location.
- Reduce their readily available food sources, for instance silos and exposed grain areas.
Commenting on the report, director of planning, environment and community development Steve Bourne said residents and community groups had reported damage caused by corellas worth "many thousands, probably tens of thousands of dollars".
He said sporting equipment, trees and TV antennas were among the targets.
Cr Ann Bell agreed and said the insulation of her own hot water service had been destroyed by the pests.
She felt the order to destroy 1000 corellas might not go far enough, as up to 3000 could be seen at the swimming lake on any given day during the summer.
Mr Bourne said while the cull was aimed at reducing numbers, it also should result in moving the birds elsewhere.
Councillors agreed with Mr Callaghan's recommendation that while using firearms for the cull might cause some disturbance to residents and result in some injured birds escaping, "this is considered a small risk for the high level of damage caused to property by the birds".
They voted unanimously in favour of seeking the shooting permit from the department and implementing the other control methods.