MOVE ON. LVRC Mayor Steve Jones is looking to rid the bats from Gatton once and for all. Photo Kerry O'Neill / Gatton Star
MOVE ON. LVRC Mayor Steve Jones is looking to rid the bats from Gatton once and for all. Photo Kerry O'Neill / Gatton Star Kerry O'Neill

It’s driving us batty

THE Gatton flying fox battle is on in earnest again after the Lockyer Valley Council Mayor Steve Jones announced his intention to rid the town of the problem, permanently.

Cr Jones said he was joining a chorus of voices in the community calling for the relaxing of red tape surrounding the removal and culling of bats from built-up areas and said local government authorities needed greater powers, without going through so much red tape to do so.

"I am vehemently opposed to sitting around and doing nothing," Cr Jones said.

"People must come before bats and while I'm not saying we should eradicate the species, I am saying people need to come first and we need to be able to move colonies on when they

are in close proximity to people, especially the elderly and the young.

"We have a situation in Gatton where we have a large colony of bats located next to an aged care facility and across the road from a child care centre, and we still aren't allowed to move them on despite the animals being the primary carrier of Lyssavirus."

A spokesman for Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland said flying foxes were safe to be near as long as people didn't attempt to touch or handle the animals.

The spokesman said hendra virus cannot be directly transferred to humans from flying foxes, however lyssavirus has had three cases in history where people had contracted the disease and died as a result, after contact with flying foxes.

"Don't attempt to move or remove any bat which is injured," the spokesman said.

"Seek help from vaccinated and trained people."

A spokesman for DEHP said an application by Lockyer Valley Regional Council for a Damage Mitigation Permit (DMP) was approved on April 3, 2012 and is valid until April 2, 2015.


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