Chickens out of park

STAY OUT: Staff at Big4 Hopkins River Holiday Park are happy they can get on with the clean-up of the park with the chicken invasion now over. Picture: Rob Gunstone

STAY OUT: Staff at Big4 Hopkins River Holiday Park are happy they can get on with the clean-up of the park with the chicken invasion now over. Picture: Rob Gunstone

MANAGEMENT at Warrnambool’s Big4 Hopkins River Holiday Park are focusing on moving forward as the last chickens leave their premises.

For the past three weeks, the park has been under invasion from up to 300 chickens a day.

The chickens have been coming into the park from a neighbouring chicken farm which is being operated by Swampy Marsh.

This week, Warrnambool City Council enforced local laws that required Mr Marsh to ensure his chickens were contained on the farm. This has had an impact, with manager of the park Catherine Hein, reporting just five chooks were left in the park on Thursday morning.

Mrs Hein said she, her husband Brett, and staff at the park were all looking ahead.

“Yesterday was a huge turning point for us,” Mrs Hein said.

“With the local laws in place, it means the chickens are under control and we are able to start the clean-up.”

The large volume of chickens and the prolonged nature of their stay means the clean-up job will be a lengthy one.

Mrs Hein said the chicken waste on the roads in the park will be removed without the use of water. 

“We don’t want to wash it away because the waste would go into the stormwater and into the river and we don’t want that to happen,” Mrs Hein said.

“We are paying for the clean-up ourselves, we do not expect council to pay for anything, it isn’t up to the ratepayers to foot the bill.”

As well as the cost of the clean-up, management at the park last weekend paid for repairs to part of the northern boundary of the fence in an attempt to stem the flow of chickens.  

Mrs Hein said staff at the park were keen to put the chicken saga behind them and continue to maintain the park’s standing as one of the city’s highest rating accommodation destinations.

She thanked the public and council for their support.

“We have had so many messages of support, people wanting to help us out in any way they could,” Mrs Hein said.

“Kylie Gaston and staff at the council have been terrific through this. Kylie has contacted us everyday and council has used its full force to do what they could for us.”

We have had so many messages of support, people wanting to help us out in any way they could. - Catherine Hein

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