Monday, 20 March 2017
Statements by Members
Capricornia Electorate: Flying Foxes
I wish to raise an issue troubling the residents of Eungella at the peak of the Pioneer Valley. Last week, I witnessed first hand a large colony of flying foxes roosting in the national park directly adjacent to the school. When I say adjacent, I mean directly along the fence line, and overgrown trees were in the schoolyard. The bats are stripping trees in the national park. They are destroying local fruit trees and vegetation. I have never seen anything like it; they are crawling all over each other in droves. Parents have raised concerns, and the school is attempting to work with the Department of Education and the department of national parks. After a lot of buck-passing, the department of national parks have agreed to cut back the trees to the park side of the fence.
Now, I should not have to remind anyone, but bats fly. They are flying over the school. They are defecating on the school roof. The remote school relies on tank water, and the water comes from the roof. The taste permeates through the water. Parents are now refusing to let their kids drink the water and will have to pay from their own pockets to get the water tested. As the bats are nesting, parents have been advised that the state departments cannot do anything to ensure the safety of the children. So it appears the bats have more protection rights for their offspring than the parents do. I am extremely worried that we will not learn our lesson on this until a child gets sick from an infection or a bite. The only thing at risk of extinction here is common sense.