Claws come out in cat fight over signs

A MOTION to place No Cats stickers on signs in a number of reserves sent the fur flying between Shoalhaven City councillors.

Cr Patricia White moved a motion that the stickers be added to the signs on Gurumbi, Boobook, Tallyan Point, John Williams and Pelican Point reserves.  

The Basin Villages Forum had written to council on several occasions over the last two years requesting the installation of No Cat signs in the following reserves near Sanctuary Point, St Georges Basin and Erowal Bay.

A report by council staff said the approximate cost of a No Cats sign was $24 for the sign and $118 for the labour to install it.

There are three reserves which require the installation of signs, the remaining five reserves can have an extra sticker adhered to the existing sign at a cost of $5 per sticker. 

The total cost would be $451.

The report also pointed out that to install new signs specifically for this purpose, the total cost would be $1136.

The report stated both options could be funded from the existing budget. 

The motion was seconded by Amanda Findley and supported by Crs Watson, Kitchener, Wells and general manager Russ Pigg.

Cr Findley said she supported the motion to help reduce the ever increasing pressure on native birds.

“There’s a lot of pressure on coastal birds with land clearing and habitat loss being the main ones but it is compounded by people.

“Responsible owners should keep their cats in at night.

“The cost was nominal and Cr Guile using the cost as an issue is a phoney cover-up.

“He called the motion stupid, that’s inferring the Basin Villages Forum members who brought the issue to their council are stupid.

“It is an issue they’ve been pursuing for a number of years,” she said.

Cr Guile, who voted against the motion, said he was not aware cats could be taught to read a sign.

“It’s bureaucracy gone mad. It came out of a small group of people.

“I’m sure they’re concerned about bird life, but coming up with stickers and signs does not address this problem.

“We need to be just picking up the cats as rangers find them. 

“Most people would say it’s crazy to spend money on this signage,” he said.

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