Pubilc enemy number one

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

AN enemy attacking Gladstone's CBD from above has the council ducking for cover and striving to come up with suitable defence.

Council buildings are among those being covered by the carpet bombing of these airborne foes ? pigeons.

At last week's meeting the council tabled the problem of the attacks, when it heard that the new city library was seen as one of the main strategic targets for the birds.

"The new library has experienced continuous problems with pigeons since its completion in August 2003,'' the council's agenda said.

"Pigeons have messed on a number of the windows, badly spoiling the views.''

Over a period of 18 months the council came up with a number of options for dealing with the enemy, including baiting and capturing them.

They also trialled hanging big plastic hawks to scare the birds off, but had limited success.

However after much deliberation they came up with a more humane option in which they will install 'pigeon spikes' along the ledges of affected buildings to prevent the birds from landing.

Originally the council was to trial the option along a section of the library at a cost of $1000.

But after deciding it was their "last option for success'' in the words of Cr Leanne Buchholz, they have decided to install the spikes in all problem areas at a cost of $3400.

However at last week's meeting Councillor Chris Trevor expressed his concern that the solution would merely "move the pigeons to someone else's building, making it their problem.''

"This will work, but only in moving the problem to someone else's building,'' Cr Trevor said.

"But what about our social responsibility to other people.''

In response the council admitted that it may well result in the pigeons shifting to another area but it was a better result than some options considered.

"There's less problems in this than killing the things,'' Cr Gail Sellers said.



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