Flying foxes causing a fracas for councils

18th October 2017 7:30 PM
CONTROVERSIAL: The issue of flying foxes and their dispersal was discussed on the final day of the Local Government Association of Queensland's annual conference. CONTROVERSIAL: The issue of flying foxes and their dispersal was discussed on the final day of the Local Government Association of Queensland's annual conference. Contributed

A DEBATE flew into the local government sector today when councillors were in a flap about flying fox management.

Councillors agreed to lobby the State Government to provide statewide management recognising that flying foxes travel large distances across multiple local government boundaries.

As part of that, they will also seek funding to support the management of flying fox colonies and dispersal activities.

The motion, put forward at the Local Government Association of Queensland annual conference, passed with 163 for and 27 against amid plenty of debate.

Moreton Bay Regional Council deputy mayor Mike Charlton said people were suffering because of flying foxes throughout the state.

"We need to pass this motion, we need to redouble our efforts ... and we need to start today," he said.

"If it takes 20 years to find a solution that's better than starting next year and it still takes 20 years, there must be a way."

But Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington spoke against the motion and said dispersing flying foxes did not work.

"I appreciate absolutely that flying foxes do impact on urban environments and we have the same problem in Noosa but I can't support a motion that calls for active dispersal," he said.

"The problem with dispersals is the research has clearly shown that dispersals don't work, they make the matter worse."

Cr Wellington said if flying foxes were moved they found new roosts and then recolonised again.

Cr Matt Constance from Moreton Bay rebutted Cr Wellington. He said the issue required the State Government to help.