Power to­move pests

Red tape cut for coun­cil

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS - Bran­don Livesay

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.”

Photo: Bran­don Livesay

FLY­ING FOXES: Gayn­dah and Mun­du­berra have had on­go­ing is­sues with Fly­ing Foxes.

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