Bats to be given hurry-up

GETTING WORSE: Maclean’s growing flying fox population is a concern for local councillors. Photo: Marc Stapelberg
GETTING WORSE: Maclean’s growing flying fox population is a concern for local councillors. Photo: Marc Stapelberg

COUNCILLORS have asked the Flying Fox Management Group to hasten the pace in removing vegetation favoured by flying foxes at Maclean in an attempt to move them on.

With the plan to make the bats' current habitat unliveable, Councillor Craig Howe submitted a foreshadowed motion to the chamber that requested the FFMG remove affected vegetation and rehabilitate those areas as a matter of urgency.

Cr Jim Simmons said previous reports that claimed the flying fox numbers were on the decline were false.

"I can't see any reduction in flying foxes at all in Maclean," he said.

"It seems they've increased in numbers and are spreading over the Maclean township.

"Given the picture of the number of dead trees, I'd say the Flying Fox Management Plan is not working."

He said the direction had to change if they wanted to see results.

"If we do nothing, there is going to be no increase in the dispersal of the bats," Cr Simmons said.

"It's going to take years and years unless something happens to change the situation."

The carried motion requests the vegetation removal and rehabilitation is achieved before the next flying fox breeding season.

Clarence Valley Council general manager Scott Greensill will liaise with the Richmond Valley Council's GM to discuss the issue and find out how they approached the flying fox issue in Casino.

Topics:  bats casino flying foxes maclean

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