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Scare off flying foxes today, maybe shoot them tomorrow

LOCAL governments have been given new powers to "scare off" problem flying fox colonies and culling permits could be issued next year.

The State Government has introduced new measures to give councils the ability to manage roosts in urban areas without the need for a permit.

Under the new rules, Queensland councils can use smoke, lights and loud noise to disperse flying foxes intruding on urban areas.

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"These changes give council officers the power to respond rapidly and appropriately to local concerns before situations get out of hand," Environment Minister Andrew Powell said.

"A permit will still be required for non-council applicants or for roosts outside the designated urban areas; however this will be a much simpler process."

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Steve Jones led a call in October for lethal measures to be made available when dispersal efforts failed.

"Moving these pests on is not enough, local councils should have the power to cull them in an effort to reduce their numbers around residential areas," he said.

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That request may soon be answered, with the State Government planning to push the case after Christmas.

"Local councils have requested the ability to apply for lethal damage mitigation permits when all other options are exhausted and we will be looking at this next year in consultation with the Federal Government," Mr Powell said.

There are currently three major flying fox colonies in the Toowoomba region that council is seeking to remove - one each in Kearneys Spring, Oakey and Highfields.

Topics:  bats flying foxes pest management state government toowoomba



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