Mayor angry as a 'bat out of hell' over flying fox colonies

LOCKYER Mayor Steve Jones is leading a campaign to see bat numbers reduced to manageable levels.

Cr Jones said it was only a matter of time before someone else was killed by the bat borne disease lyssavirus, which he labelled "Australia's equivalent to rabies.

"Lyssavirus is like something straight out of the bowels of hell, it's a horrific disease and once symptoms show, it's almost a guaranteed death sentence," Cr Jones said.

"It's about time government put people before bats and I for one am sick and tired of the rhetoric."

Cr Jones met with Lockyer MP Ian Rickuss and Environment Minister Andrew Powell earlier this year, but had been left disappointed by the lack of positive action.

"In the Lockyer Valley we have a number of bat colonies located near schools, pre-schools and aged care facilities, and I for one will not sit back and wait for another person to die before we actually do something about the problem," Cr Jones said.

It's about time government put people before bats and I for one am sick and tired of the rhetoric

"We have tried for years to remove local bat colonies only to be stonewalled by bureaucratic red tape at every turn and enough is enough.

"I can't remember hearing of a kangaroo spreading a killer disease yet we kill thousands of them every year, and to make matters worse, they're half of our coat of arms, yet we can't cull vermin that harbors a known killer disease.

"The Queensland Government has issued a discussion paper on managing flying fox roosts but again have failed to address the problem.

"If they want Local Government to address the issue, then get out of our way and let us do the job and start the culling process.

"The only option is culling in residential areas."