Livingstone Shire Council will remove flying fox roosts only as a last resort
Livingstone Shire Council will remove flying fox roosts only as a last resort Mike Richards GLA061017BATS

Dispersal a last resort for Livingstone Shire's flying foxes

LIVINGSTONE Shire Council approved a Statement of Intent for flying fox management at yesterday's council meeting and dispersal will be considered a last option to managing local problems.

Together with educational resources and fact sheets, the statement will be added to the council's website.

Management of flying fox roosts is the responsibility of land owners whether the mammals are on private, government or council land.

Councils only have authority to take action on their land in urban areas in the shire.

Livingstone contains a number of known roosts including the Ross Creek-Fig Tree Creek estuary at Yeppoon, Emu Park in the Bell Park area, Pumpkin Creek at Keppel Sands, Great Keppel Island and Marlborough.

Problems at Marlborough were highlighted recently when flying foxes became entangled in clotheslines and child's toys and a child was scratched.

Councillor Adam Belot said he was mindful of how much anxiety there could be when a roost was in close proximity.

"Is it any idea it raises emotions? We need to restrategise how we can assist people impacted by roosts on private land,” he said.

"We would want to support people to raise concerns with the state department and hold that department to account.

"We need to be prepared and ready to advocate on their behalf.”

A community education program is planned and Cr Belot said a lot of concerns were resolved by good quality information about health issues and the true risks.

"It usually settles a lot of conflicts, but it's important we get this out there,” he said.

Councillor Pat Eastwood said education was important as beliefs could be built up by hysteria.

The Livingstone plan is seen to be in step with other Central Queensland councils, particularly Rockhampton and Gladstone.

The Statement of Intent acknowledges that manipulation of animal populations could have unforeseen consequences and be difficult, if not impossible.

Each case will be assessed on its merits.