Posted on 20. Sep, 2012 in Speeches
Mr LIM (Clayton) — The matter I raise tonight is for the attention of the Minister for Water. The action I seek from him is that he visit the Clayton South stormwater harvesting and reuse project being undertaken by Melbourne Water and the City of Kingston to view it firsthand and to discuss the eradication of the thousands of seagulls that have taken up residence at the former retarding basin. This particular Melbourne Water retarding basin abuts residential houses in Clayton South on three sides, with the west boundary being the City of Kingston’s Namatjira Park, which holds a yearly weekend music festival, the Globe to Globe World Music Festival, featuring international and local artists.
I first raised this adjournment matter on 21 June, and the response I received from the minister indicated that Melbourne Water was to net the water area so these seagulls would move on. Over the past weeks Melbourne Water staff and contractors have been using visual aids to deter the seagulls — thousands of them — with some success; however, they are slowly returning in big numbers, particularly at night, causing nightmares for local residents in the area. The minister’s response letter to me dated 23 July 2012 stated that Melbourne Water’s advice to the minister indicated that physical exclusion from the open water was the preferred solution; however, netting has only been placed on the land section in the middle island sections, which has not deterred the seagulls from returning.
This is a serious matter for hundreds of local residents. Their quality of life has been substantially diminished. For parents of young children there can be nothing worse than having their children wake up late at night or early in the morning to screeching birds, breaking parenting routines. Residents trying to sell up and move have discovered that their property values have been reduced. Residents should be objecting to their recent Kingston rates valuation notices and seeking revaluation. Immediate action needs to be taken. The minister needs to be actively involved and to direct Melbourne Water to net the water area as a matter of urgency. I call again on the minister to take positive action to eradicate the seagull problem from this wetlands area.