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Does anyone know how to stop ducks from pooping all over Orange's netball courts?

October 4, 2022


By Peter Holmes


The ducks of Orange east are having the best time of it at Anzac Park, pooping with gay abandon all over the netball courts.


In the hours before sun up they’re coming from parts unknown and leaving their calling cards on the playing surfaces, and it’s proving to be a massive bummer for the sport’s volunteers and players.


Court 8 seems to be a particular favourite, according to Jane Dennis, president of Orange Netball Association, which represents some 2,000 local players.

There is no evidence to suggest why the ducks have taken a liking to Court 8. Or why they don’t do their number twos in, say, all that lovely grass surrounding the courts.


 

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These are questions for greater minds to ponder.


Still, the situation has gotten worse in the last three or four years, Dennis told The Orange News Examiner.

“It is an issue every week for games on the outside courts,” she said.




"There are eight, soon to be 10, outside courts, and the duck droppings are prevalent.”


When you turn up to Anzac Park at about 7am to set up for the madness that is Saturday netball, the last thing you want to be doing is what Dennis describes as “sweeping and scooping” duck gifts off the courts so play can commence.


“It’s not great,” she says. “Not particularly effective.”


The key problem here, without putting too fine a point on it, is smearing.


The nature of the material means that it is not like sweeping firm rabbit droppings away, or scooping them up into a bucket. Smearing is simply part of the arrangement. And smearing leads to slippery surfaces.

“I think there's an increased risk of injury,” Dennis said. “It’s hard to tell what causes a slip but in sweeping it off you notice [the smearing]. I haven't got specific reports of slips because of the duck poo, but you probably change the way you play [to avoid it].”

One can like the idea of a duck and still find its behaviour disagreeable. At one point, Dennis surely speaks for all decent-minded citizens when she says the process of removal is "gross”.


Netball is played year round in Orange and the issue of duck ablutions has reached such a level of import that it’s made the Orange City Council papers.



Buried at the end of a committee report to be presented at tonight’s meeting is a Draft Sport & Recreation Community Committee Action Plan.


Under the heading of “Action” it states: "Fencing Anzac Park netball courts to reduce the amount of duck droppings on the court surface."

Under the heading of “Action/Completed” it states: “The installation of fencing around the courts is not likely to have a significant effect on reducing the duck issue. Council to work with Orange Netball Association to find a mechanical solution to remove the duck droppings prior to games.”


Dennis was not aware of the matter’s inclusion in tonight’s council papers, but said the association had worked with council in the past to try and come up with a fix.


“Mechanical solution” may conjure thoughts of new-fangled technology designed to combat the poo, but in essence it means nothing more than sweeping and scooping.

“What we’re doing at the moment is a bit second-rate,” she said.

Anyone with any ideas is welcome to contact the association.


Until then, the volunteers will continue to do what they can to deal with the fallout.


Including tweaking the schedule to avoid playing on Court 8.


One-nil to the ducks.





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