Power tomove pests
Red tape cut for council
NORTH Burnett Regional Council will have the power to move flying fox roosts as it sees fit.
It will be able to sidestep the Queensland Government when making decisions about the best way to disperse the animals, modify their roosts, or move them on.
Farmers who can show they have suffered economic loss from flying fox damage must still apply for state-issued damage mitigation permits to shoot the problem animals.
The smell, noise, economic loss and risks to public health from flying foxes, and the LNP’s decision to allow some farmers to shoot the pests, has generated much debate in the past year.
Mayor Don Waugh said the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is developing a code of practice as a guide. “(It’s) for council’s to use as a self assess- ment tool to assist council’s decision to implement a dispersal plan.”
Cr Waugh said the department will return to the North Burnett mid month to complete a flying-fox count and report back to the council on any changes in numbers.
Environment Minister Andrew Powell said the government was putting the health and well-being of communities ahead of problem flying fox colo- nies. He said the new measures, which mean councils do not have to apply for state-issued permits, would make it easier for communities to minimise the problems.
Mr Powell said the permit exceptions would apply to designated urban areas where councils must make decisions consistent with an agreed Code of Practice and related laws. “Put simply, councils will have greater authority to make decisions in the best interests of their local community about problem flying fox roosts,” he said.
“Councils will be able to respond more rapidly and proactively to community concerns. Flying fox dispersal is a complex issue and consideration has to be given to where the animals may go once they are moved on.
“We believe those decisions are best left to those local governments that are already managing flying fox roosts at an operational level.”
FLYING FOXES: Gayndah and Munduberra have had ongoing issues with Flying Foxes.