Councils learn to live with fruit bats
QUEENSLAND’S re g i o n a l councils have resigned to the fate of coexisting with bats, following a workshop on flying fox management at the Bush Councils Convention in Charters Towers yesterday.
Hinchinbrook Shire Council Mayor Ramon Jayo said while he was happy to do nothing about the roosts in Ingham, his community was not.
“These bats are so close to our people and our infrastructure and they have high nuisance value, but we can do nothing to move them unless specific areas such as schools or kindergartens are compromised,” Cr Jayo said.
“The reason we do nothing is because with the legal options available to us, there’s really nothing that can be done to move them. If you use smoke and water, all you do is chase them around the park and they stay out of your reach and then return to where they were before. We understand these flying foxes are important for the environment, but they are supposed to contribute to the ecology within rainforests, not in urban environments.”
Cr Jayo said his community accepted that the council’s “hands were tied” due to legislative limitations, and called for further co- operation with the State Government.
Logan City Council Deputy Mayor Cherie Dalley said Logan was home to over 100,000 flying foxes and little could be done to remove them.
“We have implemented buffer zones but it is still an ongoing issue that won’t go away in a day, it’s a continual process,” Cr Dalley said.
“Every affected council has had a go at clearing out their flying foxes and nothing has been 100 per cent successful, and so one of the most important things we’ve taken away from this is educating our community about them.
“You need to dispel the common myths around bats and that has been a really productive thing for us and helped the community become more understanding.”