Council calls on Environment Minister to relocate flying fox


Charters Towers Regional Council is calling on Queensland's Environment Minister, the Hon Leeanne Enoch, to step in to oversee the relocation of flying fox from Lissner Park in Charters Towers.

The pressure for the Minister to act comes after a lack of action by the Department of Environment and Science to relocate the flying fox to Young’s Block in April 2020.

The relocation of the flying fox and the habitat works at Young’s Block were to be undertaken by third parties which the State Government, through the Department of Environment and Science, released through a tender process.

Charters Towers Regional Council Mayor, Cr Frank Beveridge, asked why nothing has happened.
“Looking at the minutes from the Flying Fox Advisory Committee meetings, Young’s Block was identified as a potential alternate roost site in December 2018.

“In January 2019, it was recommended that the best time to move the flying fox, by the Department, was April/May 2020.

“From what I can tell, very little work has been undertaken at Young’s Block by the Department and no one from the State Government is ready to move the bats on.

“Why has nothing happened?” said Mayor Beveridge.

The April/May period was identified as an ideal time to act as flying fox numbers are low which reduces the cost of dispersal and increases chances of success.

Relocation during this period also complies with legislative requirements as the chances of young and dependent flying fox being present are low which reduces complications for relocation.

“We are now into May, and the opportunity to move them is slipping away. If the Department doesn’t act now, we’ll have to wait another year before any action can be undertaken. We’re asking Minister Enoch to step in and help manage this situation.

“The funds are available and it’s not good enough for our community to have to wait any longer for the relocation of the bats,” said the Mayor.

The Charters Towers Flying Fox Advisory Committee was established in 2018 to provide recommendations to Council in addressing the issues required to manage the significant negative impact of Flying Foxes in the region.

The Committee is a collaboration between Council, the community and the Federal and State Governments.

The State Government allocated $900K for habitat works at an alternate roost site and flying fox dispersal at Lissner Park in 2018.

OGG 6 May 2020