Queensland Government goes to war with flying foxes
The Queensland Government has once again devolved into shrieking, bellicose rhetoric in continuing its self-proclaimed ‘war on green tape’ after State Environment Minister, Andrew Powell, announced changes to the management of flying fox roosts in urban areas.
“The Newman Government is cutting green tape and simplifying the process which means Councils will be able to respond more rapidly and proactively to community concerns,” Mr Powell said earlier this week.
The changes will now give local councils the authority to manage problem roosts in the state’s urban areas without having to apply to the Government for a damage mitigation permit.
While undoubtedly bad news for the flying fox population of the sunshine state, the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has welcomed the announcement.
LGAQ President, Margaret de Wit, said that the announcement was a common sense move to allow councils to better serve their communities.
“It is good that the Government has recognised local government has a major role to play in responsible flying fox management and should be trusted to get on with the job of properly serving their communities without having to worry about things like damage mitigation permits,’’ Cr de Wit said.
But Mr Powell was at pains to stress that the announcement wouldn’t give free reign to remove all roosts.
“Council officers will be required to comply with a code of practice that will govern the way dispersals are done to best manage the associated risks,” Mr Powell said.
Mr Powell said the ‘as of right’ authority would apply for the non-lethal removal or modification of roosts and the dispersal of animals, and would need to comply with Commonwealth, state and local government laws.
“All applicants, including councils, will still be able to apply for permits outside the designated areas and farmers who can show they have suffered economic loss due to damage will still be able to apply for lethal DMPs,” he said.