Singleton flying foxes safe for now
- but the locals wanted them killed.
or try this tinyurl version of the link: http://tinyurl.com/2ws3vb
Friday, 1 February 2008
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Thumbs down to bat cull
By Peter Reynolds
THE fight to cull the bats in Burdekin Park appears lost after Singleton
Councils application for a licence was refused. The Federal
Governments Department of the Environment made the decision, ruling the
proposal was unacceptable under the Environmental Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999.
In a letter to Singleton Council, the Departments assistant secretary
of the Environmental Assessment Branch, Cathy Skippington, said that the
proposed action will have an unacceptable impact on a listed threatened
species. The EPBC Administrative Guidelines on significance for the
Grey Headed Flying Fox allow for culling only in commercial fruit crops
during the fruiting season, and only under permit, Ms Skippington said.
The culling of flying foxes for purposes other than the controlling of
predation in fruit orchards contravenes the agreement made between the
Australian Government and New South Wales in 2002. Ms Skippington also
said that if approved the action would lead to a long term decrease in
the size of an important population of a species, disrupt the breeding
cycle of an important population, and interfere substantially with
recovery of the species.
According to Singleton Councils director of operations, Gary Woodman,
the decision to refuse the application was expected. The advice that
was coming from both the State and Commonwealth Governments during the
submission of our application was not as positive as we had hoped, he
said. We will now look closely at the relevant legislation to see if we
can appeal or whether that would be a waste of time.
Singleton Council continue to anxiously await the report from zoologist
Dr John Nelson on his opinions on relocating the bats from the park.
Well be looking to analyse Dr Nelsons report as soon as we get it and
present options to councillors, Mr Woodman said. Hopefully we will get
the report soon as if we are going to do anything, we would like to do
it by the end of March, before Anzac Day.
If the results of The Singleton Argus bat poll are any indication, the
decision to refuse councils application will disappoint the vast
majority of the Singleton community. The Argus received a huge response
to the poll, which gives a truly local opinion on the issue of culling
the bats. A total of 175 votes were received to the question are you in
favour of culling the bats in Burdekin Park? One hundred and sixty
seven votes were cast for yes, while just eight votes were cast for no.
That equates to 95.4 per cent for the cull and 4.6 per cent opposed.
However the online poll had an opposite result. The national opinion is
81.7 per cent opposed to the cull, 18.1 per cent in favour and 0.2 per
cent undecided, with a total of 580 votes cast.
Copyright © 2008. Rural Press Limited