Island paradise

March 11, 2018

The Island Sanctuary has been put forward as a potential new home for the Deniliquin Waring Gardens peacocks by local poultry and fowl breeder Jason Quor.

Weighing in on the debate after a majority vote of Edward River Council to remove the enclosure and re-home the peacocks was passed, Mr Quor said he would prefer to see them retained in the local area and still accessible by the public.

‘‘Growing up we always had birds and we had peacocks on the farm, and they would roost in the trees,’’ Mr Quor said.

‘‘We can teach the Waring Gardens peacocks to roost.

‘‘Where they are is too small, and I thought the Island Sanctuary would be a perfect spot.

‘‘We can provide an enclosure and keep them locked up until they get used to their new surroundings, and then allow them to roam free and roost in the enclosure if they want.

‘‘We would still need to provide a food and water feeder.

‘‘The Island Sanctuary is not used much, and Deniliquin needs all the help it can with tourism.

‘‘The idea seems to have gained some support, so it will be interesting to see what happens.’’

Edward River Council has called for expressions of interest to form a Friends of the Peacock committee to help guide council in relocating the bids.

Mayor Norm Brennan said until that committee meets and starts working through the relocation options, ‘‘nothing is off the table’’.

He said all suggestions raised with or by the committee would need to be investigated thoroughly before anything can happen.

‘‘We want to find suggestions on re-housing and relocating the peacocks, and we are not going to dismiss anything at this stage,’’ Cr Brennan said.

‘‘Someone else has suggested a new island on one of the lagoons.

‘‘What we need to try and do is get the best outcome — a win for the birds and the people — and for anything we look at we would need to take advice from the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries’’.

The council decision to remove the peacocks was not unanimous, with councillors Ashley Hall, Nick Metcalfe and Brennan all voting to retain the enclosure.

All have said they have no plans of putting up a rescission motion, despite concern that the decision went against community feedback and wishes.

A review by the DPI forced council to reconsider retaining the peacock enclosure and its inhabitants last year.

It was prompted by a petition against the practice of keeping the exotic birds caged, with the DPI review highlighting that a lot of work would need to be undertaken to bring the enclosure up to standard.

Council’s decision to remove the enclosure went against the views of the almost 1400 people who signed one of three petitions to retain the aviary.

Once formed the Friends of the Peacocks Committee will call for submissions for places to re-home the birds, and will then work with council on the re-homing process.

It is expected the committee will operate for up to four months.

Council has said up to eight community members will be appointed to the committee. Applications must be received by council by the close of business on March 23.

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