Denis Chapman at Apex Park on the Esplanade, where everything is covered in bat droppings.
Denis Chapman at Apex Park on the Esplanade, where everything is covered in bat droppings. Alistair Brightman

Keeping up with the poo problem

WHEN Denis Chapman used to drive by Hervey Bay’s Apex Park, his eyes were always peeled for unwanted rubbish.

“I would pull up and pick up any papers I saw lying there.”

Mr Chapman took immense pride in his work during his 10 years as Apex park director for Hervey Bay.

In 2003 he was named Hervey Bay citizen of the year with his industry at Apex Park a core factor in his selection.

“I was the instigator of the playground equipment. I built all the tables and chairs,” Mr Chapman said.

“It took a lot of work to get it up to standard. We wanted it to be a quiet park for little toddlers where mums could sit down with friends and have some time out.”

Apex Park today is a far cry from the safe haven envisioned by Mr Chapman 10 years ago.

A barrage of bat droppings has caused the closure of part of the park since the beginning of the year.

“It’s just disgusting,” Mr Chapman, Apex district governor, said. “It needs someone to get in there and clean it out.

“It’s a shame. A lot of people use that park.

“I know the council has a responsibility not to let people in but it also has a responsibility to keep things moving.

“I’m not saying shoot them. I just think they should be trying to find a way of moving them on.”

The Fraser Coast council closed the park when it became clear its daily cleaning routine was not enough to keep pace with the barrage of droppings.

Councillor Les MucKan yesterday put the onus on the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Kate Jones, to face up to the problem.

Mr MucKan said about $56,000 of council cash was spent to build the park.

“There is a major problem here but we can’t do anything about it.

“We need to get an expert in there and find out how long the droppings stay in the ground.

“It’s ridiculous if we’re paying out money and the park can’t be used because of the bats.”

Tens of thousands of nomadic little red flying foxes have joined the black-headed flying foxes that frequent a Tooan Tooan Creek colony, causing the bats to seek sanctuary in nearby trees.



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