Gayn­dah fly­ing fox roost to stay

Coun­cil says no: Re­fusal move fly­ing foxes based on serv­ing the needs of the many over a few

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Shirley Way shirley.way@cnbtimes.com.au

FRUS­TRATED Gayn­dah farm­ers on the banks of Oakey Creek are plagued with fly­ing-foxes and their defe­ca­tion, which “sounds like hail com­ing down”.

The North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil has re­fused to move them as there were “no guar­an­tees about where they might go” amidst fears they could re­turn to roost be­hind the main street.

Farmer Liam Har­ris wants equal­ity for af­fected farm­ers and their fam­i­lies by hav­ing the roost re­moved.

“They’re will­ing to run the risk on my chil­dren but not the school – that’s not fair.”

GAYN­DAH res­i­dents voted unan­i­mously for the re­moval of fly­ing foxes at a “bring an um­brella” pub­lic meet­ing in Winifred Cobbo St last Wed­nes­day evening.

Liam Har­ris called the town meet­ing after the North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil ad­vised land­hold­ers that no at­tempt would be made to re­move the roost at nearby Oakey Creek, for fear the bats would re­lo­cate be­hind St Joseph’s School or the main street.

“Apart from putting up some lights and mak­ing a bit of noise, there’s noth­ing we can do to dis­turb the roost,” Mr Har­ris said.

Mr Har­ris said a writ­ten re­quest would be lodged with the coun­cil. Should the coun­cil not ex­er­cise its right to ap­ply for or use a Fly­ing-Fox Roost Man­age­ment Per­mit, up to five farm­ers said they would ap­ply to the State Gov­ern­ment di­rectly.

With the state hand­ing over man­age­ment of ur­ban fly­ing fox roosts to coun­cils in 2013, Mr Har­ris and his sup­port­ers were “seek­ing equal­ity” for their own fam­i­lies to have the same pri­or­ity as the town.

PHOTO: VA­LERIE HOR­TON

GO IN TO BAT: Gayn­dah res­i­dents want fly­ing foxes re­moved.

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