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OPINION: Why are people going batty?

Director of the Tolga Bat Hospital Jennifer Mclean

OPINION: Why are people going batty?

I have some breaking news for you, there are bats living in Far North Queensland.

At the moment there’s a large colony of them roosting in an area known as the Tolga scrub.

Recently I received an email from Owen Byrnes Councillor at the Tablelands Regional council  “There is along (sic) history with the bat problem in North Queensland, The fact of the matter is it’s a EPA issue control by the state (sic) and this is why I have asked Shane Knuth for assistance, I believe common sense needs to prevail, In my opinion, the bats are in plaque (sic) proportion and something needs to be done, it’s a health risk to humans and livestock, the scrub is being destroyed, it won’t be long until the wait (sic) of hanging Bats drag the trees onto the traffic lanes through the scrub.  Should a accident or incident occur due to failure to act I for one do not want that on my conscience”

I also received a statement from Shane Knuth the Member for Hill.

“Normally the process in regards to management of bats is that Council are responsible for management and dispersal, however they do have to follow strict and onerous EPA guidelines set down by the state government.

“This makes it extremely difficult for councils to gain approval to be able to properly manage bat populations.”

I hate to tell Shane and Owen but the bats were here first. In fact, there’s evidence that the bats were here before Aboriginal people arrived.

I would rather see our elected officials spending more time controlling feral cats, Myna birds and cane toads.

Also in breaking news, all native Australian animals including bats are protected. You can’t choose to live on the Tablelands, saying you want to get away from the smoke, the noise and the traffic of the cities and then say, let’s kill the animals that get in the way.

According to the Director of the Tolga Bat Hospital Jennifer Mclean, the bats provide an invaluable service.

“They’re the only animals that can pollinate on a huge scale. Pollination is the beginning of trees reproducing; it’s the most important service that they provide. These animals restore the country after bushfires. Flying foxes are able to restore up to 90 per cent of the restoration of the burnt eucalypts.”

“There’s no other animal that can pollinate on such a large scale. They arrive in numbers in relation to the amount of food that is here. There’s currently flowering bloodwood eucalypts and they will leave as soon as the nectar is finished. “

Both the Department of Environment and Science and Ms Mclean have said the bats will move on soon.

There have been complaints from residents that the noise from the bats is deafening and that the bats are destroying the scrub. Their solution? Cut down or trim the trees.

The hypocrisy is deafening

Phil Brandel


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