Sunday, June 30, 2019

Council comments on bird removal

THE following statements about the death of birdlife at Tynwald Park, New Norfolk, are provided without alteration for those without access to Facebook.

Read the Mercury newspaper's coverage here:
SATURDAY: Council to investigate bird deaths
SUNDAY: Bird poisoning saga deepens

ORIGINAL STATEMENT, SATURDAY (Derwent Valley Council Facebook comment, unsigned):
We have been made aware of a situation regarding the removal of geese from Tynwald Park earlier today. Unfortunately, the geese have died during this process.
Neither elected members or council management were involved with the actions that led to this happening. We are extremely concerned at how this occurred and are taking it very seriously.
The General Manager is demanding an explanation and conducting a review into the decisions that led to this outcome.
We apologise for any distress this may have caused. We will make a further statement when we have identified all of the facts.

SATURDAY UPDATE: (Derwent Valley Council Facebook comment, unsigned):
Thank you for your patience while we have investigated what occurred at Tynwald Park yesterday.
A number of complaints from the community about excessive bird droppings together with ongoing damage to the playing field over the last couple of months led to Council Officers discussing how to remedy the situation at Tynwald Park.
One idea canvassed was to have a number of geese safely relocated to another part of the valley. After consulting with a veterinarian about sedative options, a council officer subsequently determined that the idea was not viable, determining to engage a pest management company to have the target geese humanely destroyed.
The licensed pest management company employed the use of a chemically laced bait which resulted in 14 geese and two ducks being destroyed. No native species were destroyed.
It was deemed safe to reopen the area for public use before the pest management company left the park as the bait had been removed.
We will be conducting further enquiries with council officers during the week to review the process and decision making which led to this outcome.
A further statement will be issued once these enquiries conclude next week.

SUNDAY UPDATE (Derwent Valley Council Facebook comment, unsigned):
A number of plovers have been found at Tynwald Park this morning, indicators suggest they have been poisoned. The plovers have been removed from the site so that no dogs or other animals can be affected.
A Council Officer is cordoning off the area and will be laying a thick layer of soil over the area to prevent any other wildlife being inadvertently poisoned.
The area will remain cordoned off until we can be 100% certain it is safe before allowing access to the public.

FACEBOOK STATEMENT BY MAYOR BEN SHAW ACCOMPANYING ORIGINAL COUNCIL COMMENT, SATURDAY:
As the spokesperson for council I’m sorry, but I’m officially speechless. I have very limited detail and was only alerted to this late this afternoon.
As mentioned in the official release by council, elected members had absolutely no idea that this was occurring and in no way made this decision. I am also led to believe management were also not aware.
Unfortunately we do not have enough information to make further comment today but Management will be looking into this over the weekend and provide an update early next week.
On behalf of council I would like to apologise if this has caused anyone distress and be assured we will get to the bottom of this.

FACEBOOK STATEMENT FROM COUNCILLOR PAUL BELCHER, SATURDAY EVENING:
I would like to state I'm speaking on behalf of myself and not council. But after hearing today that the geese and ducks was removed from tynward park, lots of family's love to feed the geese and ducks and it was a big attraction for our younger generation like it is at Richmond (Let's hope that council don't remove them from there ). I can't see why council couldn't of communicated with the public because someone surely would of wanted them, council was quick to release a statement today to say they are not to blame, well council staff do not make these type of decisions they are normally directed to by management like the contractor employed to do the job staff can't release funds to pay them. I will be working hard to get the answers over the weekend and next week to make sure someone is countable for this inhumane act. Local government works by staff directed by management which they are directed by the general manager which he is directed by elected members. I have been on leave for the last 3 months but am back now and I haven't seen anything to do with making a decision re the ducks and geese nor have a seen any complaints about them. I feel for the kids parents and grand parents who use to use up their bread to spend hours watching and feeding the ducks and geese the younger generation got some much joy out of this, I will be chasing this up this week and won't let it go to I get answers for you all.

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