Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, has warned North Queensland local councils that the Palaszczuk Labor Government looked set to re-introduce more red tape and paperwork around the management of flying foxes in urban areas.
Mr Cripps asked a Question on Notice of Environment Minister, Stephen Miles, requesting he outline the Palaszczuk Government’s plans regarding continuing to allow councils to remove flying-foxes from urban areas across Queensland.
“The Minister’s answer indicates Labor is considering re-introducing more red tape and paperwork around managing flying foxes in urban areas, which would be a step backwards for local communities in North Queensland” said Mr Cripps.
“In November 2013, the former LNP Government granted local councils an as-of-right authority under state legislation to manage flying-fox roosts in defined urban areas, after years of complaints about impacts on local communities” he said.
“Now the new Labor Minister says he is going to review these arrangements to ensure that Queensland’s flying-fox populations at not put at risk, which sounds to me like we are going back to the bad old days where nothing could happen”.
“Only an Minister from inner city Brisbane who was totally out of touch with the situation on the ground could be concerned about flying fox numbers in North Queensland – there are so many of them, they can’t possibly be under any threat”.
Mr Cripps said Charters Towers had experienced the most well documented problems with flying foxes over many years, but other North Queensland towns had also had difficulties and local councils needed the flexibility to act quickly.
“Yungaburra is another town in the far north that has had concerns about flying foxes and in the Hinchinbrook electorate, Ingham and Balgal Beach have both experienced real issues with managing bats in urban areas, so it’s widespread”.
“Labor should not even be thinking about making it harder for local councils to deal with flying foxes in urban areas and protecting their residents from the terrible smell, awful mess, dreadful noise and health concerns that come with them”.