Rockhampton council baulks at bill for bats dispersal

IT COULD cost the Rockhampton Regional Council anywhere from $60,000 to $150,000 to get a flying fox roost management permit, councillors were told this week.

And the council has decided that affected property owners and the State Government should foot the bill.

Council's community services general manager Michael Rowe described it as a "prohibitive exercise for council" and said an application should only be lodged if council could recoup the costs.

The permit would allow for the dispersal of a 40,000-strong flying fox roost at Kabra, located on 20 private properties and unallocated state land.

The officer's recommendation to council was that the State Government and impacted private landholders contribute to the cost of the application and the implementation of the permit.

The recommendation, which also said impacted parties may face future costs if the roost relocated within their area, was adopted.

Cr Ellen Smith told the meeting that Kabra residents were concerned about flying fox-related diseases such as lyssavirus and Hendra and they could not drink the water.

"These people are at the end of their tether," she said. "Do I have to go back and tell them we are going to do nothing?"

Cr Neil Fisher, who voted against the recommendation, said that Kabra residents should not be "hung out to dry" but nor should the council.

Councillors voted unanimously to support his motion that the council seek an urgent meeting with Member for Mirani Ted Malone and Local Government Minister David Crisafulli in regards to flying fox management.

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