In news that proves kelpies and border collies truly are the answer to all of life’s problems, the Sydney Opera House has recruited a bunch of good boys and girls to fix the biggest problem affecting Circular Quay: seagulls stealing your hot chippies.
The Opera House has revealed its recruited 13 four legged friends from dog training company Mad Dogs and Englishmen for a job only floofy bois can do: Scare off those nasty rats of the sky.
According to the Daily Telegraph the trainers are being paid $376,380 as part of a two-year contract to ward off seagulls from restaurant and bar-goers.
However, since the Opera House receives much of its funding from the NSW taxpayer, not everyone’s a fan of the scheme.
Opposition arts spokesman Walt Secord of the NSW Labor party had a few choice words to say about the new seagull repellents.
“Why is the NSW taxpayer subsidising clam-eating, chardonnay-sipping, tuxedo-clad opera-goers,” he asked.
“This is the government that forces NSW residents returning from overseas to cough up for government-enforced quarantine while at the same time they’re doling out hundreds of thousands a year for a dog to scare away seagulls.”
Mad Dogs and Englishman owner James Webb meanwhile claims that the scheme doesn’t misuse taxpayer funding.
“Financially it pays for itself because of the amount of money the restaurants save.”
The Sydney Opera House told Daily Mail Australia that the dogs had “significantly reduced the number of meal replacements and improved the experience and safety of our patrons”.
The Opera House also issued a statement to 7NEWS citing that the bill for the dogs is footed (or should we say, pawed) by the revenue from food and drink sales and not from the State Government.
One diner reportedly told the ABC about a horrific seagull encounter they had last time they were there, and how having the good pooches there could prevent history repeating itself.
“Last time I came here, me and my mum came to eat and we were attacked by birds and we had to leave because I couldn’t deal because it was really bad,” they told the outlet.
“So at least with the dogs here it’s better for everyone so they can actually enjoy their food.”
Can’t argue with that logic.
More dogs pls.