Time to cull the bats says Mayor
THE LAST resort is now the only option left.
That is the word from Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale as he steps up plans to investigate how Ipswich City Council can legally cull the thousands of bats at Beechwood Dr in Yamanto.
The noise and stench is driving Kerri Truloff and her family, and other residents, batty.
Ms Truloff penned an emotive letter to Cr Pisasale and other local politicians, which has also been sent to Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles, outlining how the bat plague has got worse not better.
She states in her letter that only one member of the family once had asthma "but now all four of us are medicated daily" at a cost of $250 a month.
"We can't have barbecues and friends over and sit outside and enjoy our yard as we all get covered in bat fur or bat poo. Our kids can't enjoy their own back yard that we pay rates on," she wrote.
The clothesline is not in use because the bats poo on the clothes.
After seven years she said the family members were "all exhausted with minimal sleep each and every night". Her eldest daughter is in high school trying to get good marks on minimal sleep. Her youngest daughter sleeps with Ms Truloff most nights for comfort from the bat noise.
Her husband is a meat worker with a knife in hand all day while Ms Truloff is a hairdresser running her own business all day on minimal sleep.
"For the health and safety of my family and pets and fellow residents affected 24/7 please put yourselves in our shoes," she writes.
"Please, please someone help us."
The QT has been writing about this issue for years and the bottom line is that despite the best efforts of local and state governments the situation has not improved.
In September of last year the QT met Ms Truloff and other Yamanto residents, along with councillors David Morrison and Charlie Pisasale in Beechwood Drive, as we gazed upon hundreds of bats roosting in the sheoak trees across a creek from Ms Truloff's backyard.
We reported at the the time that Ipswich City Council in conjunction with the State Government had spent $65,000 selectively clearing trees and doing other work to deter what are a variety of types of flying foxes.
Cr Pisasale said there was only one option left and he would put the health and welfare of residents first.
"I am going to put the case forward for culling because we have no option left," he said.
"We have tried everything. We have to put the case for culling.
"There are a lot of people who jump up and down and stick up for the bats, but they need to put themselves in the position of the residents who live there.
"The bats are destroying their lives. If you want to be a do-gooder, go buy their house."
Cr Pisasale met with Mr Miles, who has visited Yamanto residents in the past, this week to discuss the bat issue.
He said Mr Miles was committed to finding a solution.
The QT asked Mr Miles about the culling option.
"It is the last resort option," he said.
"The council would need to demonstrate that they have tried everything else, and we would want to work with them to try everything else.
"We will work with the council to find solutions they can implement. There are a whole range of different options.
"Ultimately what we want to do is move them on from where they are causing problems for residents in as humane a way as possible.
"We have chipped in the past (with funds) to help the council in these situations, which is not something we do often.
"But noting how serious the situation is in Yamanto we have helped out there more than we have elsewhere."