Mar 2017

Fed Flying fox report "bats" low hanging fruit

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: Last week a Federal Parliamentary committee into Flying Foxes tabled its final report.

The committee’s membership comprises of the Member for Leichardt and MPs who live in the southern parts of Queensland or Australia.

The ‘Living With Fruit Bats’ report puts forward four tepid recommendations that KAP Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter said, “Obviously the “batsmen” on this committee believe it’s better to “bat” and stay in, than to bowl out the bats.

“Someone should tell Mr Entsch and co that their parties are on 30 per cent and we ‘the others’ believe that the human beings’ safety and welfare are more important than a bats – and that’s who the voters will side with.

“But the recommendations are worth reading, they’ll save you time reading MAD Magazine or the Betoota Advocate.”

Mr Katter has responded to each of the recommendations below:
Recommendation 1
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government propose a national or eastern states flying-fox consultative committee or working group to the Council of Australian Governments. The consultative committee or working group would be responsible for centrally compiling information on referrals and management actions, and identifying priorities for legislative harmonisation, research and funding for future action in the management of nationally protected flying-foxes.

Mr Katter said, “So this is the solution to have a committee set up to report to the committee that has been set up. Do they realise how stupid this is?
Recommendation 2
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government establish a dedicated funding pool for flying-fox research and conservation actions, including continued funding of the National Flying-fox Monitoring Programme for at least the next 10 years.

Mr Katter said, “So we want to spend a fortune of taxpayer’s money studying them. We don’t want to study them, we want to get rid of them! We already know plenty about them!”

Recommendation 3
The Committee recommends that the Department of the Environment and Energy develop, in consultation with relevant state and local governments, a tool that assists councils to make decisions on action, referral and education in the most appropriate way, relevant to the flying-fox impacts in their jurisdiction.

Mr Katter said, “‘develop a tool’??? stop there! The reader is already screaming with laughter and this will assist local Government to – ‘make decisions on action’ - - again we would not want to understate the humour value of this.

Recommendation 4
The Committee recommends that the Department of the Environment and Energy, in consultation with other relevant organisations, develop a suite of education resources for Australian communities regarding flying-fox ecology, behaviour, environmental significance, health impacts, and management options. These resources should be promoted by the Australian Government to local councils, communities, businesses and all relevant stakeholders in affected jurisdictions and potentially affected jurisdictions.
Mr Katter said,” The recommended reading would be Qld Health Bulletin, October 2005. It lists:
1. Lyssavirus (You get it, you die)
2. Leptospirosis (Most experienced FNQ doctors would put the fatality figure at 3 or more a year. This is often wrongly diagnosed)
3. Hendra Virus (50 per cent fatality rate)
4. Salmonella (most serious but rarely fatal)
5. SARS, Avian Flu & Nipah Virus (have literally killed 1000s of people in countries to our North, both are carried by Flying Foxes)
Mr Katter said, “Older residents of our towns invariable say they have never seen flying foxes numbers like now. Our First Australians had the boomerang, a killing instrument uniquely designed to deal with bats.

“Nature is completely out of balance. Humans have a right to defend themselves and protect their families.

“I have heard the rather curious ravings of gang-greens, ‘We have invaded their habitat.’ In the days when these towns were little tiny hamlets of 100 people there were no flying foxes. The local, natural species wouldn’t be seen in the old ubiquitous ironbark trees, or in the bloodwood trees. You will not even find them in the black wattle tree. But you will find them in the mango trees and the fruit trees in your backyard. We human beings were the species that created a paradise there, and it is the flying foxes that have invaded that paradise.”

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