MP sets sights on federal strike
MACLEAN’S flying foxes could be moved on if the Federal Government passed a Private Member’s Bill to be tabled by Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker.
At least that’s the hope of the National Party MP.
But even if the bill was successful, any proposal to disperse the bats would require Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett’s support.
Mr Hartsuyker said the Private Member’s Bill will call on the Parliament to provide the Environment Minister with emergency powers to approve the removal of species which threaten the health and well-being of people.
“The paper shuffling and endless delays of the so-called flying fox ‘Working Group’ has descended into a farce,” he said.
“The Parliament needs to provide the Minister with the necessary powers so that the Minister can intervene when there is a genuine health risk.
“If bureaucrats are exploiting the web of State and Federal legislation to stop anything happening, then the Federal legislation needs to be amended so that the Federal Minister can intervene.
“Does a child have to get sick, does a resident have to be bitten or does WorkCover have to condemn the school a health hazard?”
Mr Hartsuyker, who acknowledged it would be a challenge to have his Private Member’s Bill passed, called on Member for Page Janelle Saffin to support it.
Ms Saffin said last night she would not support the bill on the grounds it would achieve nothing.
She said a good outcome could be achieved within the current legislative climate if all interested parties worked on an effective solution.
“It’s not beyond us,” she said.
It is not known yet when Mr Harsuyker’s bill will be tabled as that will depend on the parliamentary schedule.