Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson calls for big changes to flying fox management

TAKING FLIGHT: Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson has called for some huge changes around flying fox management in Tamworth. Photo: Peter Hardin 300517PHD028

TAKING FLIGHT: Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson has called for some huge changes around flying fox management in Tamworth. Photo: Peter Hardin 300517PHD028

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TAMWORTH MP Kevin Anderson says flying foxes should be culled when their populations become too big.

The town’s swollen flying fox popualtion has hit crisis point, according to Tamworth Regional Council who now applying pressure on the state government to come up with a solution.

Mr Anderson has called for an investigation into the endangered status of flying foxes.

“What we need to do is look at the category in which flying foxes sit in the endangered species space,” he told The Leader.

“I’d like to see a benchmark put in when the number of bats reaches a certain number, in terms of population, they should be able to be culled or the numbers should be able to be reduced.”

Mr Anderson said the bats were causing “significant destruction”, while also bringing “significant discomfort” for affected residents.

However, he said a statewide push would be needed to bring about some action.

“I would encourage every member of parliament that has a concern with flying foxes to step up to the plate and look at coming up with unified approach to controlling these bats,” he said.

Tamworth councillor Russell Webb said it was time to start “pushing a bit harder” on the matter given that local government’s hands were majorly tied in terms of taking action.

Look at what’s happening, it’s not working because we are so constrained. - Russell Webb on council's bat management plan

“It’s happened before and it will happen again unless we get a bit stronger on this,” Cr Webb said of the bat influx.

He said the council’s management plan wasn’t working.

“Look at what’s happening, it’s not working because we are so constrained,” Cr Webb said.

“You can have a management plan for anything, but it’s not going to work if it doesn’t give the flexibility.

Cr Webb has argued previously the flying foxes should be managed by state government, but cooperation from all levels of government would be needed.

“It’s federal legislation administered by the state government,” he said.

Juanita Wilson wants to see council take its plight to the Local Government NSW conference in December.

She called for a motion to be taken to conference seeking support for the bats to be managed by the state government.

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