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Volunteers in a flap over plan to send bats packing

Council has decided to relocate a bat colony after lobbying from residents near Tepequar Dr in Maroochydore.

DISPERSING two bat colonies on the Sunshine Coast is a waste of money and might not even work.

Volunteer organisation Bat Rescue Inc is outraged at Sunshine Coast Council's decision to disperse the bat colonies in Tepequar Dr, Maroochydore and the Cassia Wildlife Corridor, in Coolum.

Residents in both locations had lobbied the council to move the bats, whose stench, noise and daily defecating had made life unbearable.

But Bat Rescue president Sylvia Hood said dispersing the colonies was not guaranteed to work as it was not known where the bats would move to.

"It's expensive and disruptive for the animals; they're where they should be, in wildlife corridors and bush reserves," she said. "If people choose to live near wildlife corridors, that's what they can expect."

When asked if Ms Hood would live in such close proximity to bats, she said "absolutely. But I like flying foxes; I don't mind the smell," she said.

"I wouldn't mind the noise factor."

Ms Hood said to add insult to injury, the council's decision to use environment levy funds was "totally unacceptable" and a blatant misuse of the funds for which they were originally intended - to protect and enhance our environment.

"Ratepayers need to know that there are about only 12 residents who constitute the squeaky wheel and the 'not in my backyard' attitude," she said.

"So for 12 residents, the council are prepared to spend $243,000 on their personal environment 'crusade'"

"This was an astounding decision by Council, and could well backfire on them."

Ms Hood said Bat Rescue Inc proposed that a 10m buffer zone be put in place from the property boundaries most affected.

"The purpose is keeping them out of the immediate vicinity," she said.

"This should alleviate the main concerns being noise and smell of the flying foxes for those residents most impacted."

If anyone finds sick or injured bats, do not touch them. Phone the volunteer-based rescue organisation, Wilvos, on 5441 6200.



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BatsRule!: Volunteers in a flap over plan to send bats packing
Volunteers in a flap over plan to send bats packing
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