A Town in Bat Lock Down

With more than 200,000 flying foxes now invading Charters Towers Township the region is in the grips of its worst yet plague of flying foxes and still no word from the State government on a long-term solution.

Charters Towers Mayor Liz Schmidt says the sheer numbers of creature this year does not bode well for now or the future.

“It is more than double what we usually get, and no one has ever seen it so bad. To government I say come and see what we deal with, roll your swag out under the trees. If you think it’s easy to live with these things, walk a mile in our shoes and see what we have to contend with every day.”

“I worry for the infirm and elderly, and for the young children as no one knows the impacts on their health long term.”

Council has now closed two parks and the swimming pool in the city centre.
Mayor Schmidt says Government now needs to work with council for a long-term strategy.

“The majority will be gone in a few months, but they’ll be back next year, we need a plan to reduce their impact and eventually manage an outcome that is the best way for the bats and people. The difficulty is there are so many limits on what we can and can’t do.”

Under State law, the environment and heritage protection cover the bats, and while it says council can manage a roost they remain limited into how that management can occur.

Traeger MP Robbie Katter says he’ll be taking the matter up now with the State Government.

About 170 residents conducted a street march on Saturday, demanding action be taken, and a larger protest is planned for this weekend.