A 300,000-STRONG bat colony is set to be “moved on” from Gayndah in the next five weeks – but where it will go, nobody knows.
North Burnett Regional Council workers will start cutting branches from the trees where the animals roost in about five weeks time.
It is a move that will pave the way for future flying fox colony relocations, with the Department of Environment and Resources pouring $40,000 into monitoring the impacts of dispersing the animals and the risk of spreading hendra virus.
“We have to wait about five weeks until the little bats are able to fly before we move them on,” Mayor Joy Jensen said.
“Where are these bats going to go? No one knows. But the permit has been granted for the full township of Gayndah so at least we know we can work on them until they leave.”
Ms Jensen said residents were sick and tired of the bats, which not only posed a health risk but had caused “immeasurable” damage to the town’s riverbank since they arrived in September last year.
A number of businesses had also been hit hard by the “smelly” and “noisy” colony, particularly the ones located along the river.
“There has been no explanation as to why they’re in such large numbers. It’s an unbelievable sight to see that many bats hanging in so few trees,” Ms Jensen said.
Anyone who couldn’t understand why residents were so distressed should come and have a look for themselves, Ms Jensen said.
“It hasn’t been a pleasant situation and it’s driven a lot of people to say and threaten to do a lot of things they wouldn’t consider under normal circumstances.
“Residents feel the bats were given priority over them.”