$23,000 car park poo-calypse solution rejected
A CRUSADE to stop bird poo splattering down on parked cars has hit a $23,000 roadblock, as Mackay Regional Council decides whether to reject a resident's petition.
In June Walkerston resident Johanna Wood submitted a petition to Mackay Regional Council calling for the removal or replacement of trees in the Gordon St and Gregory St carpark.
Ms Wood wrote in her submission the trees in the carpark produced fruit which attracted birds who then defecated on parked vehicles, causing damage to the paint work.
Her rallying call attracted 24 other signatures for her petition.
Councillors voted to refer her petition to the chief executive officer, and three months later the investigation by the Parks, Environment and Sustainability Program has been released.
It found the bird-attracting fruit culprits were four Hills Weeping Figs, which collectively covered 30 per cent of the car park with shade.
The report said removal of the mature trees would hurt the car park's "microclimate".
"The shade cast by these trees helps ameliorate the glare and heat build-up associated with the large expanse of bitumen and concrete surfaces of the carpark, adjacent footpaths and roads," it said.
As annoying as bird faeces was, the report said the trees "should be valued for attracting and sustaining bird and other wildlife in the urban setting".
"While not dismissing the mess caused by feeding birds, the contribution made by the trees compared to inconvenience to owners in having to wash down their vehicles needs to be considered," it said.
"(Also) the public has the option not to park directly under a fig tree."
The report said the removal and replacement of the four trees would cost ratepayers between $16,000 to $23,000.
Other solutions, including converting the car parks to short-stay parking or
garden beds and installing a tap and hose, were suggested.
"The various options suggested each have a different cost implication and, in some cases, would reduce the capacity of the carpark which in turn will impact revenue generation from parking fees," it said.
Instead Director Development Services Aletta Nugent proposed the council prune the trees to reduce the size of their canopies.
Councillors will decide to accept the departments suggestion at the Wednesday meeting.