Alan Peebles’ 75th bird painting, outside the Hervey Bay Courthouse. He is now up to number 103 but may soon be down to zero if the council decides to hand the shelters over to private enterprise.
Alan Peebles’ 75th bird painting, outside the Hervey Bay Courthouse. He is now up to number 103 but may soon be down to zero if the council decides to hand the shelters over to private enterprise.

Talk of taking birds disgusts Alan

THE BIRDMAN of Hervey Bay is seriously having his feathers ruffled.

After six-and-a-half years of painting 103 birds on our bus shelters, Alan Peebles was alerted this week that the council had been talking about handing over its shelters to private enterprise – and that the shelters would not only be maintained by that private firm but a deal would be done allowing the new people to place advertising on them.

The Chronicle contacted the council yesterday to hear its side of the story but meanwhile Mr Peebles, the Fraser Coast’s well known wildlife warrior who did the paintings voluntarily, said he and his fellow wildlife lovers would be “absolutely disgusted” if the council did go ahead with the plan.

“I have only just recently finished and installed my 103rd painting – this one at River Heads.

“I hope the council is not selling the soul of Hervey Bay for a few pieces of silver.

“I am sure if it was put to the ratepayers they would rather see birds, which are easy on the eye and promote our bird life to the tourists, rather than advertising with something like ‘Eat at Joe’s’ on our bus shelters.”

The council’s Director of Engineering Services Wayne Sweeney said the council was currently developing a program to upgrade/replace existing bus shelters to be compliant with disability standards.

“Some councils in south-east Qld have investigated the option of inviting tenders for the provision of new bus shelters and for their ongoing cleaning and maintenance.

“The successful tenderer would retain the rights to the income through advertising on the bus shelters.

“A formal report on this proposal has not yet been considered by the council.”

Seems our bus birds could soon take flight.



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