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Magpie warning signs not placed near where fatal attack occurred, report finds

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Signs warning of a dangerous magpie that caused the death of a baby girl in a Brisbane park this month were not placed near where the swooping attack occurred, a report into the tragedy has found.

 

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Lord Mayor Arian Schrinner has promised a better response to dangerous behaviour by magpies and other swooping birds following the death of the baby girl at Holland Park West.

Five-month-old Mia died after her mother, who was carrying her in her arms, fell while trying to protect her from a swooping magpie at Glindemann Park on August 8.

The tragedy occurred despite five earlier reports to council about an aggressive bird swooping people in the park.

Schrinner said a report into Brisbane City Council’s approach to dangerous birds made it clear stronger procedures were needed to deal with and relocate creatures who posed a particular risk to residents.

He said the council would make sure experts were more readily available to be called in and that signs warning people of dangerous birds were more prominent.

Schrinner said the report he ordered into the council’s handling of the complaints fund there were three warning signs in the park but none of them were close to where the attack happened.

“What happened to baby Mia was a tragic accident that has been extremely traumatic for her family and affected so many people in our community,” he said.

“Bird swooping during the traditional breeding season is part of Australian life and most of us have been swooped at some stage.

“However, there are occasions during nesting season when certain birds located near people become particularly dangerous.

“What the report makes clear is that Council needs stronger procedures to ensure experts are called in earlier and these birds are relocated.”

He said that while it was illegal for council officers to remove native animals under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act, he would make sure experts with relevant permits were more readily available.

“The changes I have made will now make it crystal clear that whenever there is a dangerous swooping incident or evidence a bird’s aggressive behaviour is escalating it will be a requirement that the State-licenced experts are called in,” he said.

Warning signs erected by the council would also be more visible, he said.

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