Residents of Sydney’s most notorious public housing complex are being told not to feed the local rats, as the city is plagued by a worsening rodent problem.
A day after pictures emerged of a rat the size of a small cat found dead in a family’s backyard, Daily Mail Australia can reveal residents in inner-city Surry Hills have been feeding the creatures.
‘Please do not feed rats or pigeons or leave food or rubbish out of bins,’ a sign in a Family and Community Services (FACS) office window opposite Northcott towers in Belvoir Street states.
Northcott towers, opposite the Family and Community Services office in Sydney’s Surry Hills
The sign telling residents not to feed rats is stuck up with other community service messages
‘Housing NSW asks that residents dispose of rubbish thoughtfully and not feed the pigeons or rats.’
The sign appears in a window with posters advertising interpreter services, the Salvation Army, the Surry Hills Drug Action Team and Northcott Community Sharps Bin.
Kandas Jordain, who lives nearby, said the extraordinary warning was needed.
‘There’s an elderly woman who sits out and feeds the ibises and the pigeons and the rats,’ Mr Jordain said.
‘I’ve told her off a few times. Every time I see her with a plastic bag I confront her.’
Mr Jordain said the ongoing light rail construction in Devonshire Street, coupled with rubbish left to rot outside buildings, contributed to the rising number of rats around his home.
Bags of rubbish are strewn in a Surry Hills street near the continuing light rail construction
Rats, including rattus norvegicus are a constant problem in large cities including Sydney
The Family and Community Services office where the ‘do not feed the rats’ sign is posted
‘I’ve got them running under my unit,’ he said. ‘When the sun goes down we’ll start hearing the rats running around.
‘You can hear them of a night time scurrying in and out.’
The FACS office caters for residents including those who live across the road in the 14-storey Northcott towers, which have a reputation for drug abuse, high unemployment and violent crime.
Earlier this week a family from Alexandria displayed a giant rat they found dead in their backyard.
The family was so afraid after the discovery they would not let their young daughter play in the backyard.
A resident feeds pigeons in Ward Park, near the Northcott towers, in Sydney’s Surry Hills
Residents in Surry Hills have been told to stop feeding local rats and pigeons (stock image)
A gigantic rat has been found dead in a Sydney family’s Alexandria backyard (stock image)
The rodent is about the size of a small cat.
The grim find follows months of concern over rat problems across Sydney.
Independent City of Sydney councillor Angela Vithoulkas has called for action on the issue.
She said the rat problem had possibly improved in the city since March but was ‘still very active in other areas’.
‘It’s the price you pay for progress and development when you choose to not address other factors that come up and allow them to get this bad,’ Cr Vithoulkas said.
Cr Vithoulkas said she was not surprised by the size of the rodent in the Alexandria backyard, stating Sydney rats were ‘well fed’.
She said the ‘public health issue’ called for the city to set up a ‘rat taskforce.’
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