Battle fought alone
AS every year, local residents will come under attack from nesting magpies this spring, but this year we are alone.
Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham has written to the Environment Minister to ask why there are no longer any Queensland Parks and Wildlife (QPWS) officers in Gladstone to deal with the issue.
"In previous years a local Parks and Wildlife officer was available to visit the area in which the swooping bird was located and give advice on the management or relocation of the bird,'' Ms Cunningham said.
Ms Cunningham said the loss of the service staff member meant residents had to pay for the bird's relocation themselves.
Ms Cunningham said while some people saw the issue as a big joke, she failed to see the funny side.
"I don't think it is funny at all. It stinks that people now have to pay themselves to get the bird moved. What's wrong with the government?''
The Jaenkes are one family among those wondering what to do.
"In past years we have got the ranger out to move the bird, but from last year we were told that was no longer an option and we had to pay for it ourselves,'' Mrs Jaenke said.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife senior ranger Tim Farry said the decision by QPWS not to deal with magpies was made so the service could focus its work on core environmental outcomes.
Mr Farry advised residents to stay clear of magpie nesting areas during spring, or said if they must enter the area to move quickly, but not run to avoid being swooped.
Calliope Shire Council has trained two of its officers to catch trouble magpies.