City of Bunbury approves motion to cull 400 Corellas in 2018/19

Plan to cull Corellas approved

City of Bunbury has passed a motion advocating for hundreds of Corellas to be culled over the next financial year.

During the ordinary meeting of council on Tuesday, April 3, the City put forward its new Corella Management Strategy to document all ideas to solve the issue.

The executive recommendation called for:

  • The City to Endorse the Corella Management Strategy.
  • For council to allocate $50,000 in the 2018/19 budget for the initiative. 
  • Chief Executive Officer Mal Osborne to report on the success of the project prior to more funding being allocated. 
  • Mr Osborne to write to West Australian Premier Mark McGowan expressing concern over the lack of action undertaken by the WA Government. 

Councillor James Hayward presented an alternate motion. The motion called for 400 Corellas to be culled in 2018/19 and another 400 to be culled in 2019/20. 

Cr Hayward stressed the importance of culling. He stated culling was the best way to combat the high number of Corellas in Bunbury. 

Councillor Michelle Steck spoke against Mr Hayward’s motion, saying culling was not the answer to the situation. 

After the original recommendation was voted down, council voted 9/2 in favour of Mr Hayward’s proposal. 

City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said the birds needed to be dealt with. “The Corellas are causing significant damage, we know of the damage to the city’s infrastructure and that has been reported to us,” he said. 

“There was also the anecdotal evidence that was offered on Tuesday night about the damage to private property.” “There is a large nuisance value attached to them, but this is mainly about the damage which is why we need to act decisively.” 

In November 2017, the species was declared a pest under the WA Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007. 

Due to a shortage of pest control professionals with accreditation from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, the City may have to explore alternate mitigation options. 

Member for Bunbury Don Punch said the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions had provided two grants of $50,000 each to the WA Local Government Association for a corella control program to assist Bunbury and Busselton. 

A Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions spokesperson said the responsibility for managing pest animals rested with the land owner. 

They said action taken by multiple land owners over a broad area was the best way to manage corella numbers. 

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson ensured the Corella population problem in Bunbury was “on his radar”.

“Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ staff have developed humane corella control procedures and provided technical and specialist advice to assist in setting up the Coordinated Introduced Corella Control Program,” he said.