Tony Perrett says it is a matter of urgency to move a colony of flying foxes in the heart of Gympie.
Tony Perrett says it is a matter of urgency to move a colony of flying foxes in the heart of Gympie.

Flying foxes must be moved from Gympie homes urgently: MP

FOR almost a year a growing roost of grey-headed flying foxes has been distressing residents and causing damage in Commissioner’s Gully, in the heart of Gympie, and Gympie MP Tony Perret says it is time the council acted.

“I’ve received numerous emotional complaints about problems at Commissioners Gully, Gympie, and at Cooloola Cove,” Mr Perrett said.

“They are disease carrying creatures which are responsible for deadly diseases such as coronavirus, SARS, MERS, Ebola, bat lyssavirus and Hendra virus.

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“Colonies of flying foxes of bats shouldn’t be on anyone’s doorstep.”

Mr Perrett said bats did not belong in urban environments, and no good came of them being close to people’s homes.

One Commissioner’s Gully resident, who did not want to be named, said the bat faeces, screeching noise, and damage to trees was getting worse, and described the situation as depressing and distressing.

The resident said the bats will take up residence in all but one species of tree in the area, and she said the roost is continuing to grow. Picture: Supplied
The resident said the bats will take up residence in all but one species of tree in the area, and she said the roost is continuing to grow. Picture: Supplied

“They fly all over our home, yard and roof at dusk and before dawn.”

“We’ve had to cover our clothesline to protect ourselves and our clothes from the putrid bat faeces, and regularly hose and wipe everything down.

“Including the depreciation of the value of our homes it’s truly, immeasurably heartbreaking,” she said.

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“Not just to us, but all of the local residents who have been significantly impacted.

“We see no end in sight and no one will be active in acting in our best interest, and overall well being regarding our real health fears and dreads.”

The resident said her puppy almost died after it caught an infection from the huge amount of bat faeces blanketing her back yard. Picture: Supplied
The resident said her puppy almost died after it caught an infection from the huge amount of bat faeces blanketing her back yard. Picture: Supplied

Mr Perrett said residents were being worn down by the incessant noise, overwhelming stench, mess, and destruction.

“I have written to the Environment Minister Leanne Enoch asking her to urgently provide any additional authorities Gympie Regional Council may need to fix this mess now,” Mr Perrett said.

“Many are elderly and are very distressed.

“It is so bad now that it is affecting their health, they cannot open their windows or go outside, and their pets have been infected.

The view of flying foxes from the resident’s back yard in Commissioner’s Gully. Each morning and night they take flight, swarming the sky. Picture: supplied
The view of flying foxes from the resident’s back yard in Commissioner’s Gully. Each morning and night they take flight, swarming the sky. Picture: supplied

“The bats contaminate everything with droppings washing into water tanks, water troughs, and feed areas.”

Mr Perrett said he was on the Parliamentary Committee which investigated Hendra virus and had heard from someone who survived it, and said it was debilitating.

“There’s been a number of Queenslanders who’ve died from Hendra virus,” he said.

“Most vets refuse to treat horses that are not vaccinated because of the serious threat posed when bats infect the horses.

“Horse events have previously been cancelled or impacted because of concerns about Hendra virus.

“It’s a matter of urgency to move them away from people’s homes.”