GOING BATTY: Paul Spedding and Chris Gard are concerned about the number of red bats that have moved in to Kabra.
GOING BATTY: Paul Spedding and Chris Gard are concerned about the number of red bats that have moved in to Kabra. Chris Ison Rokcbats

Bat removal could prove to be an expensive exercise

THE Rockhampton Regional Council will be racing the clock if it plans to disperse the flying fox roost at Kabra.

It could also be forking out up to $150,000 for the exercise.

If the council applies for a flying fox roost management permit with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, it has only a small window of opportunity to implement it.

The dispersal action would have to be done in February or March, so it did not impact on the mammals' breeding cycle.

Black flying foxes conceive in April to May and give birth in October to November, while little red flying foxes conceive in October to November and give birth in April to May.

The roost is on 20 private properties and State Government land and residents have expressed concerns about the risk of disease, the noise and odour from the roost.

Councillors were told this week that the cost of a permit could range from $60,000 to $150,000 because a consultant would have to be involved to meet the requirements.

The council said it would not apply for a permit unless it could recoup the costs. It wants the State Government and affected residents to foot the bill.

The code of practice states dispersal actions can only start after advice from a person knowledgeable about flying fox behaviour, or with such a person present.

Council CEO Evan Pardon said the council was unable to meet the criteria so a quote had been sourced from an external body.

The DEHP confirmed yesterday that councils had always had to have this work done by someone qualified.

Cr Ellen Smith said the best outcome would be for the roost to move on.



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