The Shire of Waroona Council has approved its first application for the use of bird-scaring devices since gazetting a new health local law in September. The Shire began creating the new law in August to restrict the use of bird-scaring devices — such as gas guns — after receiving frequent noise complaints in recent years from neighbours of two fruit growers — Capogreco Farms and Fruitico Farms. The Council approved Fruitico’s application at a meeting last Tuesday, making the table grape grower the first to obtain a licence to use gas guns in the shire. The approval was subject to several conditions, including lasers and bird squawkers being used alongside gas guns, and the guns being used to the minimum extent necessary and not within 600m of a dwelling or 100m of a property boundary. Shire of Waroona chief executive Mark Goodlet said the new law made it easier for officials to know what applications to accept, and the process ran relatively smoothly. “The council put the local law in to try and come up with ways of mitigating the impact on the community,” he said. “What was presented in the conditions was a series of measures that achieved that, so they were happy about the outcome. “The local law sets the parameters, so our regulatory officers use that to negotiate what is and isn’t needed.” Fruitico farm manager Brian Dell’Agostino said the devices were necessary to maintain crops. “We use the gas guns in conjunction with laser guns and squawkers, so it is only one of a few things we use to keep the birds moving and from settling into the crop,” he said. Waroona Shire president Mike Walmsley told the Harvey-Waroona Reporter in August the council was left with no choice but to introduce the restrictions on the use of gas guns. “We understand the growers need to protect their crops, but people and neighbours are entitled to amenity,” he said. “We engaged with the growers as much as we could and they have had ample opportunity to have input into what we were trying to achieve.” Mr Dell’Agostino said the new law had been a long process. “Some of the neighbours are not too happy with the noise, but at the same time we have put a lot of things in play . . . and we are ticking all the boxes,” he said. “When you’re not breaching noise regulations, and in an area zoned agriculture, there’s not really any reason why it shouldn’t be able to be done.” The application was for the period from January 2-May 15 2022 — which Fruitico’s website states is its “peak season”. Mr Dell’Agostino said Fruitico would work through the process this year before seeing if anything needed to change.