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Council gives green light to disperse Coolum flying foxes

SUNSHINE Coast Council has overwhelmingly supported "dispersing" two suburban flying fox colonies.

The decision came on Thursday despite the council not knowing if the relocated colonies would cause even more problems elsewhere.

Residents in Tepequar Dr, Maroochydore, and in the Cassia Wildlife Corridor, in Coolum, lobbied the council to move the bats, whose stench, noise and daily defecating had made life unbearable.

"For the first eight years, it's been heaven - for the last two years, it's been hell," Maroochydore resident Kerry Fenton said of the bat infestation.

After two hours of debate, before a packed gallery, the council voted nine to three for "non-lethal dispersal".

The plan is to be funded by $243,000 from the environment levy, and the council has a three-week window to get the job done.
After that, the start of the flying fox breeding season will limit the amount of action that can be taken.

"You'll see the noise, the smoke, the lighting, the big clowns - it's all going to happen," Cr Jason O'Pray said.

"This is an incredible relief for me ... I've worked absolutely tirelessly for my community.

"I've endured a number of sleepless nights. In fact, I got quite emotional on the chamber floor at times.

"I feel for these people. I've been in their backyards to really get a good feel for it."

The council admits it does not know where the relocated bats will go, or whether costly repeat action may be needed.

Cr Steve Robinson said: "There certainly is a risk of that ... at this point in time, we've got some really good habitat within close proximity, certainly to Cassia.

"I'm quite confident that we have a chance of moving them to Stumers Creek or Coolum Creek corridors, and that's what I'm really hopeful for."


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BatsRule!: Council gives green light to disperse Coolum flying foxes
Council gives green light to disperse Coolum flying foxes
Council gives green light to disperse Coolum flying foxes
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