A couple has vowed to fight a $266 fine for their rare rooster after a neighbour complained about its wake-up calls.
A couple has vowed to fight a $266 fine for their rare rooster after a neighbour complained about its wake-up calls.

Cock a doodle feud: rooster stoush headed for court

A westside couple say they will go to court if necessary to fight a $266 Brisbane City Council fine imposed on them for their allegedly noisy rooster.

Marilyn Truong and Ken Cogle said only one neighbour had complained about the Rhode Island Red, which they bought in May.

They moved the bird 180m, to the farthest corner of their rural residential Pullenvale property, and even put a collar on him to restrict his crowing.

But Council disputed their version of events, saying the neighbour had complained about the Rhode Island Red crowing for long periods as early as 2am.

"We provided the owner with practical suggestions to stop the early hours crowing, including keeping the animal locked in a hutch overnight,'' City Standards chairwoman Kim Marx said.

"Unfortunately, we do not believe the owners have taken these ideas on board and the rooster is still unreasonably upsetting neighbours.

"We now have many audio recordings from the very early hours that demonstrate a pattern of ongoing and regular noise being caused by the rooster.

"As we do not believe the owner has taken of practical advice on board to resolve the problem, an infringement notice was issued.''

 

 

Local Law prohibits keeping a rooster on land within a residential area unless the land is located within the rural zone or the rural residential zone as defined in the Brisbane City Plan 2014.

Several nearby rooster owners took to social media to defend the birds.

"That's one of the reasons we moved out here - the sounds of nature as opposed to city noise,'' Dan Sullivan posted on Facebook.

"Given the noise of cockatoos, kookaburras, curlews and other birds, I am stunned a collared rooster got any attention.''

Lee Cleghorn, from Brookfield, said they had had many roosters.

Yvonne Jackson posted: "We have lived at Pullenvale for many years and had roosters a number of times - hens, roosters and turkeys - never a problem. I love to hear a rooster crow at first light.''

But Ms Truong's neighbour begged to differ and complained to Council.

 

The infringement notice handed to Ms Truong earlier this month.
The infringement notice handed to Ms Truong earlier this month.

Ms Truong said a Council officer handed them the fine at their property earlier this month.

They have until next month to pay, but have vowed to go to court as they said Council provided no proof of problem noise.

"We got our rooster a collar and moved him 180m away from the complaining neighbour's

premise (and at) this distance we didn't hear him crow at all,'' she said.

"We also asked our other neighbours and all stated they never heard our rooster, noting that they only heard the many local bird noises from cockatoos, curlews and fruit bats.''

She said officers told them they had recordings and a noise nuisance report, which allegedly showed a pattern of behaviour, but when they asked to be given the evidence they were told to request it in writing.

 

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Cr Marx said Council always tried firstly to educate owners of noisy animals, giving them practical tips to address the problem, before taking enforcement action.

"We only want to see the noise addressed for the benefit of local residents and we've therefore asked the owners to submit an animal noise plan letting us know what steps they will take to curb the rooster's behaviour,'' she said.

"We are always open to working helpfully with the owner to prepare and implement the noise plan solution.''

Ms Truong said she had asked Council to send her the documented regulations about animal noise in rural and rural/residential zones, giving specific reference to what constitutes a noise nuisance such as the amount of decibels and time duration, plus the time of day.

 

 

"That's because no Council officer or member of the community was able to be specific as to what constituted a noise nuisance,'' she said.

"Previous discussions with Council officers resulted in conflicting advice and some residential zone advice.

"Council's website information does not provide advice on what constitutes a noise nuisance and there seems to be very little information for rural zones.''

"I feel like Council is illogical, inconsistent and making up different rules as they go. "Kookaburras, cockatoo and rooster crowing is part of a rural environment and seems a small issue compared to the much deeper and alarming issue we need to fix here - the right to farm on rural zoned properties to have food security and to be self-sufficient.''

Originally published as Cock a doodle feud: rooster stoush headed for court


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