Jun 2013

Bat fund to take legal action against QLD Government

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KAP Federal Leader and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter today announced the launch of a fighting fund to facilitate legal action against the Queensland Government over human deaths caused by bat disease.

Mr Katter kick-started the fighting fund by signing a $1000 cheque at a Parliament House press conference this morning, prompted by the broadcast of a national news program on Sunday about the cruel death of a Queensland child from the bat-borne Lyssavirus disease.

“What has been described to me as the most moving story in over a decade has prompted me to write this cheque to provide start-up seed money to take legal action upon the next death or serious illness,” Mr Katter told media.

“This fund will provide money to take an action of criminal negligence over the Qld Government’s failure to take the initiative to remove bats from highly populated areas.

“And while this cheque is but a small gesture, we hope it represents the cornerstone of a mighty forthcoming battle that will force the Qld Government to take control of skyrocketing bat infestations.”

Mr Katter, who wrote to the Queensland Premier to warn the government of its duty of care regarding human lives and bat diseases months before and again immediately after the tragic death of the Qld child from Lyssavirus earlier this year, said it was infuriating that that requests to directly address the risk continued to be ignored.

“This is a battle that I will continue to be relentless in fighting,” he warned.

“I have written to the incumbent and preceding Premiers many times, specifically pointing out the risks of bat disease to humans. Whether it was two years ago, nine months ago or three months ago, still nothing has been done.

“In 2011 we had dogs test positive. In 2012 we had horses test positive. We have continually pushed the government for bat culling and it still hasn't happened. This is about as serious as it gets now.

“The government clearly know the risks of bat-borne diseases to human life. They know that more than 120 people died of Nipah disease carried by flying foxes on the Malay Peninsula.

"They know that in Queensland, four of the seven people who have contracted Hendra virus have died. They know that Lyssavirus, which has killed three people scratched by bats in Queensland, was recently found in 30 per cent of bats that had fallen from trees.

“Yet Lyssavirus has been seriously underestimated, overlooked and disregarded by the government. It may not be highly contagious but it is contagious, and that makes it a serious concern.

“And when the next death occurs in a populated area, this money will be used to launch a prosecution against the Premier and relevant Ministers.”


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