The chip thieves that are terrorising a Melbourne suburb 65



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A Melbourne suburb has been terrorised by up to 20,000 seagulls for the past 20 years. The vast flocks of birds feed at the local tip then swarm all over town, Hitchcock-style, dropping their white bombs and deafening people as they screech past.

Business owners in Clayton South are forced to constantly wash their stock and premises, and have had to install nets and spikes to prevent the gulls from nesting on their property. One business owner told The Age he had spent $60,000 on seagull deterrents.

Along with the noise, there is the stench of poo, and the birds make shirt work of trashing a roof or blocking a drain with their excrement.

Kingston City Council has come up with just about every seagull deterrent thinkable, from physical barriers to scarecrows to noise deterrents, but still the gulls plague the town.

Locals say the council has let the matter get out of control, and now the only think left to do is kill the birds.

Seagulls are a protected species, so businesses or the council will need to apply for special dispensation to cull the gulls. With a permit, they can kill adult birds and take their nests, eggs and chicks; provided all non-lethal options have been tried.

Seagulls aren’t the first birds to create havoc in Australia. The white ibis, or “dump chook” or “tip turkey” created such a mess in Sydney that public bins had to be redesigned. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Indian mynah birds are culled in Canberra each year. A cockatoo cull in Sydney’s King’s Cross caused controversy in 2011.


Have you ever experienced pesky birds? Do you think this town should be allowed to cull the seagulls creating havoc in their area? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. If they had not have been fed chips in the first place there wouldn’t be a problem, should be a law against feeding them.

  2. I grew up with seagulls in the north of England. They could be a menace – but we learnt that you did not feed them. Feed them and they will be back expecting more.

  3. Do something about the rubbish tip! Gulls are scavengers, and there is a smorgasbord awaiting them every day! It is also illegal to kill our native birds.

  4. Humans create the problems by feeding them, then they whinge when these birds keep coming back expecting to be fed, maybe we should cull the humans who fed them 🙂

  5. Why would you feed them any wild animal or bird will keep on coming back.we stayed atxa caravan park years ago and the owners used to feed the lovely ducks at a certain time every day .they were fine and the kids loved it but a few people started feeding them near their carsvans then complained because they would mess on their steps and in the anexes but theycwere to blame themselves.peopla can be so silly.

  6. Get a life leave the seagulls alone! It’s part of eating chips at the beach if no gulls in sight now that’s sad:-(

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