Sunday, December 3, 2023

Cockatoos prove costly for Perth hockey club

A Perth hockey club is facing a pitch battle with a cockatoo native to Australia. 

Melville City Hockey Club, one of the largest sporting clubs in Perth, spent around £267.000 replacing its pitch in 2021/22 season. But within weeks a mass of eastern long-billed corella had caused damage to the surface.

According to City of Melville minutes last month, it had advised that it had no concerns with Melville City HC engaging with a licenced contractor to undertake culling of the corellas after the flock had impacted hockey at Morris Buzzacott Reserve.

The club has already said that a culling trial last year had proved fruitless, while Melville had tried methods such as a flying decoy falcon to move on the corellas, which had proved costly.

Club president David Timmel told Perth Now: “We’ve tried an agricultural bird scarer, we’ve tried lasers, we’ve changed the watering regime and we’ve also spent quite a bit of money on the draining so it actually clears the hockey surface.”

The club said that the corellas’ damage equates to over £2,000 annually and had proved “destructive” by also eating through TV cables and aerials. 

“For every year that we have to replace our turf early and with all the other things we’ve done to combat the problem, it costs us about $10,000 £5,300) a year.”

Melville City has 50 teams across its junior to senior grades.

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