CONTROL: Bats will be managed with vegetation control rather than dispersal at Noosa
THE Noosa Council has stood by its decision not to consider flying fox dispersal to provide relief for residents living near bat-infested Wallace and Pinaroo parks.
But a Noosa Council spokesperson said expert consultants Ecosure had encouraged the council to steer clear of dispersal methods.
"Ecosure... reinforced council's view that dispersal efforts are unlikely to achieve long term results of removing flying foxes from a local area," the spokesperson said.
"The consultant's report highlighted that dispersal attempts are expensive and fail to keep flying foxes away. The greatest concern is potentially shifting flying-foxes into other residential areas
"One of the most practical management actions for dealing with flying foxes in residential areas is to increase the space between homes and the vegetation where the flying foxes roost."
The council undertook vegetation work at Wallace Park in April and is investigating a sprinkler system trial to provide a further 15m barrier.
Kay Fielden has questioned why Noosa Council downplayed serious problems being faced by residents near Wallace Park and Pinaroo Park, where flying fox colonies had been flourishing for the past four years.
"Prior to the bat invasions, tourists, locals, wildlife enthusiasts, horticulturalists and the like were delighted to see wallabies, kangaroos, koalas, bird life - even blue kingfishers and spoonbills and black cockatoos - enjoying the parks," she said.
"Now they have all gone, there is nothing for the tourists and naturalists to see except for bats and devastation and destruction of plants, trees and vegetation. It is an awful sight.
"On top of that, residents who unfortunately live in close proximity are getting sick, property is being damaged, including cars, patios, outdoor furniture, gutters, fences, gardens. It has to stop."
Queensland Health released figures last month that showed 17 people have been bitten or scratched by a bat on the Sunshine Coast since the start of the year.
This came after a sick bat found in Lions Park at Tewantin on April 16 tested positive for the deadly lyssavirus.
"We were hopeful that a new council would take action and be concerned like our nearest neighbour, the Sunshine Coast Council - but no," Ms Fielden said.
"They will, every now and again, make an announcement that they are going to employ a management expert, but they do nothing more.
"It is not only the deadly viruses that get passed on but it is the pollution from the faeces of bats flying overhead day and night, polluting water, yards, bowling greens, outdoor furniture and so on, plus the noise and the stench that emanate from them."
The council cut back vegetation in Wallace Park last month in a bid to increase the distance between homes and flying fox colonies and was investigating the "possible use of sprinklers to increase separation further".
Noosa Council has not yet responded to requests for comment.