Mayor mad at flying-fox cancellation


Charters Towers Regional Council Mayor Frank Beveridge is fuming over the State Government’s cancelling of the planned flying-fox relocation from Lissner Park to Young’s Block, which was scheduled to commence this coming Tuesday, 14 July 2020.

The cancellation comes because it has been found the little red flying-fox, which inhabit the park along with the black flying-fox, and overwhelm it during peak seasons where numbers swell to in excess of 200,000, have been found to be carrying young.

The State Government’s Department of Environment and Science (DES) had coordinated carefully planned dispersal activities from the Lissner Park, in the CBD of Charters Towers, based on the best available science from CSIRO and their own department to ensure they didn’t coincide with a time the species would be carrying young.

“What I can’t understand is, how do you put this much resource, with this much expertise, into such a significant undertaking, only to realise you can’t deliver because you got it wrong? The mind boggles,” said Mayor Frank Beveridge.

“They have just spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the creation of a specifically designed alternative roost site at Young’s Block, to ensure the continued sustainability of the flying-fox, and now they are not moving them there.”

Council has been advocating for and supporting the planned activity following decades of frustration from local residents, who have increasingly become impacted by the flying-foxes, economically, environmentally and generally, through a reduced quality of life.

 “Charters Towers residents are fed up. They can’t utilise the town’s main park, Lissner Park, and the pool and kindergarten have previously had to close due to the flying-fox overwhelming their areas.”

“We call on the State Government to take responsibility, as identified in Council’s State Election Priorities 2020 Report, for the management of flying-fox in Charters Towers. We need the State Government to do more and we need to know when they plan on undertaking the dispersal activity.”

CAC 10 July 2020