Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, has condemned State Labor Environment Minister, Steven Miles, for dismissing the serious concerns of local residents about a flying fox colony in Ingham.
Mr Cripps said Minister Miles recently tabled his response* to a petition supported by more than 2,800 people calling for the flying fox colony in the Ingham Botanical Gardens to be removed.
“I was disappointed – but not surprised – to read Minister Miles’ response, which makes no attempt at all to address the concerns of the community – it’s totally unsatisfactory” said Mr Cripps.
“The Minister has once again attempted to pass responsibility for this matter on to the Hinchinbrook Shire Council, something he also did when I wrote to him about this issue last year” he said.
“Steven Miles appears to have casually overlooked the health concerns of the community and didn’t even refer to the impacts on adjacent schools, businesses and community organisations”.
“For a so-called Environment Minister, Steven Miles has not even bothered to offer any comment about the impact of the flying fox colony on the trees within the Ingham Botanical Gardens”.
Mr Cripps said the Department of Environment had prevented council officers from undertaking management activities in accordance with its Flying Fox Management Plan in November 2016.
“The former LNP Government allowed for the development of these local management plans for flying fox roosts in local communities, but now Labor is preventing the Council from using it”.
“Minister Miles has ‘passed the buck’ despite the Palaszczuk Government standing in the way of Council using its local plan to protect the residents of Ingham and the Herbert River district”.
Mr Cripps said given the Department of Environment had refused to take responsibility for managing the flying fox colony, it should not interfere with the Hinchinbrook Shire Council.