Save Our Chooks public meeting summary & update

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A huge thank you to everyone who attended our Save Our Chooks Public Meeting on 4th April. It was an interesting and informative evening!

Special thank yous to our speakers
– Emily Sims from Permaculture Out West for facilitating
– Debra Maffescioni, founder of Book A Chook for “mythbusting” potential “problems” of keeping chickens in the city
– Paul McKeon, Local Laws manager for Maribyrnong Council for talking about the current law, how it functions, is applied by their officers and the Poultry Keeping Guideline document they intend to make available shortly
– Cr Martin Zakharov, Ward Councillor for Yarraville

After an initial ice-breaker and introductions, we looked at the reasons why keeping chickens is so important to us as well as what issues can arise that can make chook keeping in the city problematic. Deb, founder of Book A Chook addressed these issues, outlining how all of these problems, except “noise”, are not inherently chook problems – they are PEOPLE problems. Ie these are all problems because of poor management by the chook’s owners. Chickens are very easy to maintain pets, that do not require much space, but do require a good set up and regular but simple routine to prevent problems.

In brief, Council said they are supportive of responsible chicken keeping in Maribyrnong and recent events have highlighted the need for an operational guidelines document re Poultry Keeping to inform both Council officers and the public on how the law is applied and the conditions required for exemptions to considered. The document will be completed in the next 3-4 weeks and Local Laws are open to consulting with a working group on this.

Council do not feel the need to amend their “15m from any dwelling” rule at the present time as there already exists the clause that allows exemptions. All the local laws are up for review in 2015 and community consultation will be commencing in about 6 months time.

We are grateful to Paul McKeon for attending our meeting and clarifying the laws, identifying areas that his team needs to make improvements and agreeing to work with POW to make operational guidelines for animal management officers and chook owners available as soon as possible. We thank Council for their positive response to community concerns. We look forward to the local laws being reviewed so that Maribyrnong’s vision for a sustainable city can be pursued consistently and confidently by council and residents.

Minutes:

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Notes – Pros Cons Solutions

Meeting Notes – Discussion

 

MAIDSTONE CHOOKS UPDATE

The Ashley-Chiews are in discussion with Council Local Laws regarding an exemption. Fingers crossed and watch this space!

 

ELDRIDGE STREET CHOOKS UPDATE

If you would like to show your support in person for the recently evicted Eldridge Street chooks http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/west/let-chooks-come-home-plead-footscray-west-couple/story-fngnvmj7-1226585238607 you are invited to attend Council’s sitting when they hand down their report on 23 April 6.30pm.