Gayndah residents threaten bats legal stoush
By Laura Hegarty
Updated October 20, 2011 07:20:42
Residents at Gayndah, south-west of Bundaberg in southern Queensland, are considering legal action against the State Government if bats are not removed from the town by the end of the month.
The North Burnett Regional Council first applied to remove the bats from the town's river bank a year ago.
The flying fox numbers increased to 300,000 before a dispersal permit was granted in August and around 15,000 remain.
Local hotel manager Dennis Wilson says although bat numbers have dropped in the town over the past few months, the Government needs to take stronger measures to disperse the remaining animals.
"If the problem is not solved then the residents of Gayndah would look at a lawsuit against the Queensland Government," he said.
"Perish the thought that the community had to sue their own Government to protect the health of their own children.
"It's just absolutely ludicrous - [Premier] Anna Bligh is only concerned about the Greens preference votes for the next election, she is not concerned about this community."
He says the bats are a health threat and the community has sent a letter to the Government warning of legal action.
"We actually had a retired QC from Victoria search through the Queensland Criminal Code and has advised of three breaches of that code by the public servants and the State Government," he said.
"We sent a formal letter - not a legal letter - to the Government outlining this.
"We've since been advised by the retired QC that in his belief, we would have a very, very strong case to mount against the Department if not Anna Bligh and the ministers in charge as well."
The Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management will conduct a flying fox count on Friday.