BAT COLONY: The CQ township of Westwood was invaded by thousands of fruit bats, which posed a risk to their drinking water.
BAT COLONY: The CQ township of Westwood was invaded by thousands of fruit bats, which posed a risk to their drinking water. Contributed

Mayor commends bat-terrific effort after flying fox influx

ROCKHAMPTON mayor Margaret Strelow praised officers who dealt with the a Central Queensland bat inundation, saying they went above and beyond to help affected residents.

The achievement was highlighted in the council's Planning and Regulatory monthly reports yesterday after officers helped Westwood residents in the midst of a 45,000 red flying fox influx in February.

Council officers trucked bottled water out to residents and offered to refill water tanks after residents expressed water safety concerns.

Cr Strelow said officers also helped elderly residents cut back trees infested with bats.

BAT COLONY: The CQ township of Westwood has been invaded by thousands of fruit bats, which pose a risk to their drinking water.
BAT COLONY: The CQ township of Westwood has been invaded by thousands of fruit bats, which pose a risk to their drinking water. Contributed

Despite the issue reportedly being a task for the State Government, she said Rockhampton officers needed to be congratulated for their efforts.

"The way in which they maintained the communication in the community is something to be congratulated,” Cr Strelow said.

The bats took up residence near the town's school for around four weeks, causing health risks, closing the public toilets and delaying Anzac Day celebrations.

"We weren't able to keep everyone satisfied but I think the activities undertaken were consistent to perform better action plans.”

Cr Strelow voiced the idea of employing a specialist within the council to deal with these issues instead of waiting "up to two weeks” for the designated expert.

"Our hands are tied during the time (bats are there) but after we go above and beyond to clean up,” she said.