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15 April, 2021

Trail of destruction

President of the Clifton and District Tennis Association Jason Manttan with the wire protectors that were no match for the pesky corellas.

For the past few months the skies over Clifton have been filled with the sight and sounds of a few thousand corellas, and although they’ve disappeared for now, there’s still plenty of cleaning up to do for local residents and businesses.

The Clifton and District Tennis Association is just one of the community groups affected by the sudden influx of the native species.

President Jason Manttan said “the birds have wreaked havoc on the local club, with the clean up bill set to be well into the thousands. We’ve got 16 lights here, so 32 bulbs altogether, and we’ve got eight bulbs left working,” Mr Manttan said.

“We haven’t been able to host any night fixtures for the past few weeks because we don’t have enough power. “We’ve got protection on the wires but they’re just chewing either side of that and the protective housing is just falling to the ground.

 “They’ve been chewing the court surface as well and breaking bits of  timber off the telegraph poles which are falling all over the court. “Overall I think the  damage will end up costing about $4000 to $5000.”

Mr Manttan said it’s a kick in the guts for the community club, with fund-raising opportunities few and far between.

“For us, any time we would hold a tournament we would probably make $1000 at a guess and we’re only doing two tournaments per year,” he said.

“That means this is two or three years worth of savings, so it hurts.

“Insurance doesn’t cover any damage from birds at all so we have to fork out the money ourselves.”

Mr Manttan said the club had been in contact with Council which was unable to offer a solution.

“They just give us the suggestion to put up streamers and things like that to distract them,” he said. “Unfortunately, we notice here on Friday afternoons with our junior tennis we will probably have 70 people here and the birds just don’t seem to care.

“It’s just not sustainable for us to try and man the courts all the time as we’re all volunteers.”

The story was similar across at the Clifton Bowls Club, with treasurer Glynn Knights saying members are still waiting to see just how much the bill will be. 

“They put our lights out of action twice,” Mr Knights said.

“We replaced the first cables with metal covered cables, then they pulled those cables out of the tower and chewed through them again.

“They’ve also been chewing at the green but we’ve just been hunting them off and filling in the holes with a bit of sand,” he said.

Wires were also chewed through on a pole outside the Clifton Post Office two weeks ago, with businesses in town losing services as a result.

The Clifton and District Tennis Association is currently working to replace the damaged wires.


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