Nov 2010

Katter to rally against bats at Charters Towers

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INDEPENDENT Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter is joining Qld MP Shane Knuth in calling the Bligh Government to account for placing the rights of disease-carrying bats above human lives.

“They know that more than 120 people died of Nipah disease carried from flying foxes on the Malay Peninsula; that more than 700 people in China died from SARS; and that in Qld, six people have contracted Hendra virus and four have died,” he said.

“Two of my dozen closest friends in Innisfail have had serious hospitalisation with leptospirosis.

“All this is attributed directly and indirectly to bats – as in the deadly lyssavirus (from which two reported human deaths have occurred in Australia) being carried by an estimated 9 per cent of North Qld bats.

“Only people with a very sick set of values would prevent people from removing bats from towns and populated areas.

“The extreme green point of view is that we’ve invaded their habitat. In reality, bat populations have exploded since European settlement. First Australians had the balance right: they sourced food – the flying foxes – in a more sensible period of Australian history.”

“Livelihoods are also at risk. Joe Moro, a farm leader from Mareeba, said there were farmers whose production was down 30-50 per cent as a result of bats. It’s just another nail in the coffin of agriculture in Australia – a country which within five years will not be able to feed itself.”

“We are giving notice to the Minister of the causal link between bats and diseases that are deadly to humans.

“Something must be done before we have more deaths.”

Mr Katter’s comments come ahead of a rally to be held on Saturday, November 27, in which Charters Towers residents are set to protest Minister Kate Jones' refusal to allow helicopters to disperse an estimated 20,000 flying foxes that have taken over the park and destroyed 120-year-old trees.

Mr Katter said the CBD heritage park and nearby residential areas were now seriously dangerous to the people of Charters Towers.

Contact Details

P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au