Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

My War on City's Bats Needs State Assistance: Cr Pisasale

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

My War on City's Bats Needs State Assistance: Cr Pisasale

Article excerpt

JOEL

GOULD

joel.gould@qt.com.au

THE WAR on bats and smells is one Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale says he will wage until its successful conclusion.

Bats have colonised the city.

They screech all day, destroy trees and defecate 24-hours-a-day over everything.

Meanwhile a pungent smell has been wafting from the Swanbank area across nearby suburbs causing residents to gag on the noxious odour.

Cr Pisasale has railed against an impotent state government bureaucracy which tangles any solution up in reams of red tape, while residents continue to suffer.

He said he'd "had a gutful" of bureaucratic stalling on the flying fox issue while the people of Ipswich suffered as the proverbial meat in a bat sandwich.

"So last week I wrote to the Premier proposing a trial one-off partnership between Ipswich City Council and the Queensland Government to share costs and to ask for her personal intervention and help," Cr Pisasale said.

"We need urgent action to manage these roosts and move them on."

Cr Pisasale said he was sick and tired of being told by state government that council had powers to act.

Environment Minister Steven Miles has written to Cr Pisasale saying that local governments have had "a long standing authority to manage flying-fox roosts that fall within designated Urban Flying-Fox Management Areas since 2013".

The letter goes on to say that management actions "are limited to non-lethal methods and must be undertaken in accordance with a code of practice that sets out the types of management activities that can be used" while also protecting the welfare of the bats.

"But what they forget to say is that the reality is we can't do anything so long as any breathing bat is in a tree," Cr Pisasale said.

"My job is to represent people, not bats.

"This is war.

"The bats are driving me and the community crazy and enough's enough.

"It is affecting people's livelihood, their health and making people go nutty...or batty.

"I am sick of playing bat ping pong where everybody goes backwards and forwards instead of focussing on the pong. …

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