Residents frustrated by bat delays
NORTH Burnett Mayor Joy Jensen has declared the law an ass, with fears government red-tape could delay the removal of thousands of flying foxes that plague the Gayndah CBD.
The town has been hostage to the bats for months, with numbers reaching up to 300,000 at the height of the infestation.
Hopes for a reprieve were raised when the Department of Environment and Resource Management agreed to destroy the trees the animals were roosting in once all babies had reached maturity, forcing the bats to move away.
But that plan was dashed on Thursday, with the arrival of 1000 heavily pregnant black flying foxes.
"It's a heck of a mess," Cr Jensen said.
"We've been told we can't move the red flying foxes and their babies for three weeks. But it will be October then, and that coincides with when black flying foxes give birth."
Cr Jensen said the lengthy process to apply for a removal permit had frustrated townsfolk, who felt let down by delays.
"We first applied for a relocation permit in October last year and we finally got it in August," she said.
"We have been let down by the indecision and stalling tactics of DERM. I am just livid to think the Gayndah community has been treated with such disdain."
While trees surrounding the bats' roost can be trimmed, the animals are unlikely to move on until the scrub is cleared.
But legislation prevents other measures being taken to remove the flying foxes and they cannot be killed under Queensland law.
"I am fearful these bats will never be moved under this legislation," Cr Jensen said.
"A law that places animals in a town over and above the wellbeing of humans is absolutely wrong.
"The law really is an ass."