The flying-fox colony at Maclean.
The flying-fox colony at Maclean.

Taxpayer money for bat mail not on

USING taxpayer money to send a mail-out to residents over the Maclean flying-fox issue was unacceptable conduct from a Member of Parliament.

That’s the view of environmental group Valley Watch, which has criticised Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker’s decision to disseminate material to residents in Page. In the letter and flyer Mr Hartsuyker attacked Page MP Janelle Saffin.

Valley Watch secretary Cathy Clark wrote to The Daily Examiner this week expressing several concerns over the mail-out, which was sent to residents in Cowper and the neighbouring electorate of Page late last month.

“Valley Watch has several concerns about Mr Hartsuyker’s use of public funds in sending a mail-out to residents for an anti-flying-fox petition,” Ms Clark wrote.

“Members of our organisation received this unsolicited, and direct, correspondence from the Member for Cowper even though many residents reside in Page.”

Ms Clark outlined three main areas of concern with Mr Hartsuyker’s mail-out:

1. The group found the tone of the correspondence unnecessarily aggressive and intimidatory;

2. The statements presented, and the claims made in Mr Hartsuyker’s mail-out, do not have supporting evidence from any recognised source, and;

3. The group believes the information presented was inaccurate, biased, inflammatory, and most importantly, may well cause divisions in the community.

“Such tactics are not in the best interests of the community,” Ms Clark wrote.

“We believe mail-outs of this nature encroach on responsible government; and are not acceptable for any member of parliament.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Education is yet to confirm whether it has applied for a licence to disperse the flying foxes next to Maclean High School.



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