MEDOWIE locals have appealed to the Port Stephens Council through the local State member, Kate Washington, about what they consider to be an emerging rat plague in the leafy suburb.
Locals who live near the Storm Detention Basin, off Medowie Road and commonly known as the duck pond, are adamant it is a breeding ground for the vermin.
Local Medowie resident and business owner, Dan Phillips, told News Of The Area that a number of neighbours had been discussing the problem which led to Mr Edden expressing his concerns directly to his local State Member, Ms Washington.
Port Stephens Council has responded to the residents’ concerns by stating they have undertaken an inspection of claiming there is no evidence of vermin in the Storm Detention Basin.
Despite their being an open and cleared section of the dam, with a seat to enable people to comfortably observe and feed ducks, the Council reports that it cannot clear the area as it would need to be fenced off.
The Council further claims that they cannot lay baits as the area is frequented by wildlife, domestic animals, and people; and that the rats are a seasonal issue, and advise residents to lay their own baits.
When told of the Port Stephens Council’s response, Mr Phillips is adamant that this is inadequate, saying the matter is “past the responsibility and ability of what a home owner has to control the problem; since January, we have had to fill our rat baits up regularly, about once a week.”
Mr Phillips claims they are coming up from the dam saying, “If you go out late at night, you can see them running along fences; they come out of the drains all along the streets near the dam.”
Following Council’s response, representation has been made to the Health Department regarding the issue.
A letter made available to Medowie News Of The Area shows that Kate Washington wrote to NSW Minister for Health, Ms Jillian Skinner on 31 May, 2016 regarding the problem.
Residents look forward to receiving a full and considered response from the Health Department.
Medical and press reports over the past decade have indicated there is an Australia-wide increase in diseases caused by rats; with many of those problems occurring in suburbs just like Medowie.
Diseases such as rat bite disease create serious medical problems and residents should be aware of the potential of such problems should the numbers of rats continue to grow.