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BATS: Schneider to lead Bat task force, Megabat, Fruit bat, Flying foxes

BAT MAN: Russell Schneider has been appointed head of the new flying fox task force. The Broulee resident suffers from emphysema, so wore a mask when he inspected the Batemans Bay Water Garden.

Newly-appointed flying fox task force chairman Russell Schneider knows the urgency of the job he has been given.

“Failure is not an option, and time is of the essence,” he said of the bat colonies that have spread from Batemans Bay.

The position is honorary and Mr Schneider is not being paid.

“The flying foxes are spreading throughout the Eurobodalla and if this continues unchecked they will be everywhere from South Durras to Narooma.

“The hospital is affected, infrastructure in the Eurobodalla is affected and no one wants to see more power failures.

“People want to know when substantial action will begin and we need to avoid a situation where members of the community take action into their own hands.”

Eurobodalla Shire Council, federal Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis and state Bega MP Andrew Constance have appointed Mr Schneider, the holder of an Order of Australia medal, to be the advocate of the people in the Eurobodalla bat crisis.

He is pleased about the united front facing the problem, but said he understood the problem would not be solved easily or quickly.

“It is too big for any one organisation to manage,” he said.

“We have to acknowledge that dispersal of the bats is going to be inconvenient to people, but I believe most people will accept short-term pain for long-term gain.”

He said such dispersal usually involved noise before dawn and in the evening, and the use of smoke. He understands the importance of not moving the problem from one residential part of the Eurobodalla to another.

“When dispersed, bats will attempt to colonise other areas, and we will need a rapid response to push them further away,” he said.

He said he hoped that federal and state government agencies did not put impediments in the way.

“The departments (such as the Office of Environment and Heritage) rightly feel they have a duty to protect the flying foxes, and I have a duty to the health and safety of the community,” he said.

Mr Schneider believes that the authorities had not been determined enough to solve the problem.



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BatsRule!: BATS: Schneider to lead Bat task force, Megabat, Fruit bat, Flying foxes
BATS: Schneider to lead Bat task force, Megabat, Fruit bat, Flying foxes
BATS: Schneider to lead Bat task force, Megabat, Fruit bat, Flying foxes
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