Sydney council’s X-rated mistake
Sydney is battling a rat plague - but residents looking for more information on the council's website are being greeted with a different kind of filth.
Due to an out-of-date link, the City of Sydney is directing residents to a dodgy Chinese porn website. News.com.au discovered the X-rated error on the first page of an official pest control fact sheet distributed by the council.
Authorities are trying to get on top of a massive rodent problem, which has been blamed on an unprecedented number of major construction and infrastructure projects. The rat plague has led to an outbreak of the deadly leptospirosis disease in dogs.
The fact sheet outlines the council's role in controlling various pests, including rats.
"Residents may in certain areas also come across the native Bush Rat which is unlike the introduced Black Rat in that they are secret, shy rodents that are rarely seen outside their dense bush land habitat," it says.
"For further information on Bush Rats and Black Rats please visit the Sydney Bush Rat website at …"
Sadly for Bush Rat aficionados, the website appears to have become defunct at some point between now and when the Microsoft Word document was first created in 2011 by a City of Sydney environmental health officer.
The domain name, now administered by Chengdu West Dimension Digital Technology Co., was last registered in August last year to an anonymous user in China's Sichuan province.
Visitors to "Sydneybushrats.com" are now redirected through several dodgy-looking URLs before landing on a Chinese porn website.
A City of Sydney spokesman said the council had "immediately removed the link from our website" after being notified on Tuesday afternoon.
"It appears that the domain of the website in question had expired and was purchased by another business," he said. "We have not received any previous complaints about this link, but apologise to anyone who was mistakenly redirected to that website."