Councillor slams Megabat cull Flying-fox Fruit bat

A TOOWOOMBA councillor has slammed a proposal to allow council flying foxes culls.

Cr Sue Englart, who chairs the environment and parks portfolio, said a Lockyer Valley Regional Council submission to increase council powers to remove bat colonies was a step in the wrong direction.

The Lockyer Valley resolution, one of many from councils across the state, to the Local Government Association of Queensland conference calls for "greater powers ... from the State Government to ensure the colonies are not able to establish, or remain, in close proximity to urban areas and around areas with significant horse populations".

Lockyer Valley mayor Steve Jones said flying fox colonies were over populated and action needed to be taken.

"They've put a system in place whereby you can move through a range of applications and process and eventually get to move them on. But they have never ever allowed the culling of them," he said.

"The problem in Gatton is we had an enormous population of them next to Amaroo, the aged care facility. They annoyed those poor old people something fierce.

"These things were a continual noise and smell 24 hours a day. Now we've moved them on and unfortunately they've gone into trees all over town.

"And the problem has just moved now. They need to face up to facts the numbers are just in excess.

"We need to have the ability that when any pest gets into excess they've got the ability to cull."

Cr Englart said despite community concerns regarding flying fox colonies in Toowoomba increased council powers were not the answer.

"I don't believe that power should be given to councils and if I had my way I'd be returning it to the State Government," she said.

"There needs to be a state-wide or even Australia-wide strategy.

"Bats don't recognise council borders. They don't care if they're in Toowoomba, or Gatton, or Thargomindah."

Cr Englart said councils needed to take flying fox colonies into account during town planning.

Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland president Katrina Faulkes-Leng said councils powers over flying fox colonies had grown dramatically.

"Our position is that protection for flying foxes in this state has been fairly quickly stripped away over the past few years," she said.

Ms Faulkes-Leng and Cr Jones agreed a state-wide scheme would be a better way of managing flying foxes than individual councils.


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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: Councillor slams Megabat cull Flying-fox Fruit bat
Councillor slams Megabat cull Flying-fox Fruit bat
Councillor slams Megabat cull Flying-fox Fruit bat
BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats
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