Bat removal held up by red tape
THE removal of a bat colony in Gatton seems no closer after again being caught up in government red tape.
The Lockyer Valley Regional Council last year received permission from the Labor State Government to move the colony but was waiting for approval from the Federal Department of Environment.
On Friday of last week the State Department of Environment and Heritage Protection received the letter from its federal counterpart but due to the change of State Government now needs to review the proposal itself .
A spokesman for State Environment Minister Andrew Powell said the new minister would act to reduce red tape and help local councils.
"Minister Powell's office received the letter from (Federal Environment Minister) Tony Burke on Friday, 11 May, however the Minister (Andrew Powell) has not had the opportunity to consider the proposal," he said.
"The LNP welcomes the opportunity to streamline environmental processes and cut green tape where possible."
The spokesman said the new State Government would work with councils and landholders affected by nuisance colonies to ensure human health and agricultural productivity was not adversely affected.
"We will overhaul the damage mitigation permit system in relation to moving bat colonies," he said.
"Lethal DMPs (damage mitigation permits) will only be issued to farmers as an absolute last resort."
The Lockyer Valley Regional Council has proposed to lop branches from the trees the bats roost in, forcing them to move to a new nesting place.
The council initially hoped to have moved the bats at the end of January after the youngest bats were able to fly.
However, the wait for federal and now State Government approval has forced the council to continue to delay the action and leave the colony undisturbed.
In the lead-up to the State Election the LNP promised it would work with councils of regions to address issues regarding flying fox colonies.
In opposition, now minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said the LNP would reintroduce damage mitigation permits to kill bats as a last resort.