A Question of Tenancy Rights


Steve gazed at his aviary with justified pride, but was a little concerned that his native birds were housed in small, square, carefully planned wooden boxes that typified a rash of housing estates over natural habitats.   For good reasons his birds could never be released, but he keenly wanted them to feel “at home” in the same way that a million of their ancestors had felt “at home”.  He decided to change all the clinical wooden boxes for logs with suitable holes for nests.


Next morning Steve reported to the E.T.S.A. depot where he earned a crust, and found to his delight his gang was consigned that day to cut some branches from under country power lines.   By night-fall he literally had logs “to burn” and after tea picked a couple of “beauties” for the aviary.


Two weeks later he stood on the same spot gazing with disappointment at the same birds.    Surely the logs should have made them a lot more content; instead they had all undergone a sort of personality change.   They not only ignored the “log-cabins” but were constantly agitated; issuing warning calls night and day.


It has got to be the logs, he concluded, and entered the aviary as a D.I. might enter the scene of a crime.    It soon became apparent that an armed squatter had infiltrated his aviary by means of one of the logs.    Only after a violent struggle was he evicted and arrested.     The view taken by the court was that since Percy Possum had occupied the log for many months he undoubtedly had legal tenancy.     However, rehabilitation was denied and an order issued for him to be released and returned forthwith to his local area.


Steve now feels pretty good about the aviary, but concedes that justice might have suffered in the process.    The birds however, are delighted and don’t give a damn.


(Based on the actual experience of an E.T.S.A employee)

Bennett's Wallaby
Juvenile NT Brushtail Possum
Swamp Wallaby
Golden Brushtail Possum
Red Kangaroos
Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies
Baby Squirrel Glider
Sugar Glider

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