Kids have to come before bats, says Banana councillor

GREG Rothery was lining up for the Christmas function at Wowan State School when a flying fox flew overhead and defecated on the ticket seller beside him.

The school has been struggling with the increasing flying fox population for two years, with thousands estimated by Mr Rothery to be filling the trees surrounding the school.

"During the day there's always something that seems to be disturbing some of them… if they get a fright and scratch a kid there's always a risk of lyssavirus," he said.

"As far as the community is concerned, they shouldn't be there.

"I'm hoping that… the powers that be will allow whatever necessary action that needs to be taken, whether that means shooting them or whatever."

Banana Shire Councillor Nev Ferrier also holds concerns about the bats.

He said he would support a cull, if that was an option.

"Kids have got to come before bats," he said.

Cr Ferrier went to check on the school grounds on Friday and Saturday and said he had never seen so many bats there.

"They probably went from 8000 to 30,000," he said.

"There were a couple of dead ones in the school yards."

Cr Ferrier and Mr Rothery also share concerns about Wowan's water supply, which depends on rain water.

They are both concerned about bat droppings getting into the supply.

Council has previously spent $19,000 trimming trees to try to eliminate areas they can live, but he said that solution didn't last long.

Earlier this month, the Department of Education regional director Wayne Butler said officers would contact council to help mitigate the issue ahead of the 2014 school year.



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