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Small Aussie town with a ‘plague’ of bats

Frustrated Charters Towers residents took to the streets over the weekend in a march against the current management of flying foxes.

Residents marched down Gill Street demanding management assistance with multiple public spaces closed while hundreds of thousands of bats have taken over the town.

Charters Towers Mayor Liz Schmidt said over 100 members of the community rallied to draw attention to the problem.

“Nobody seems to be able to give us any answers,” she said.

“It’s an absolute disaster, the stuff of nightmares.”

Ms Schmidt said the fine print of the Department for Environment and Heritage Protection’s flying fox roost monitoring guidelines leaves Council’s hands tied.

“The community will think we’re just slacking off and not doing anything,” she said.

“Council is working really hard within the confines of what we can and can’t do to fix this.”

Cr Schmidt said while the government has been in caretaker mode it has been nearly impossible to get help.

“We just need someone to tell us why there’s 200 000 bats here, if we can’t find out why they’re here then we can’t fix it,” she said.

“It’s not about a knee-jerk reaction, it’s about doing something for the long term.”

Charters Towers Regional Council hopes to work with the community to have a solution implemented as soon as possible, with over 1500 survey responses to be taken to the Minister for Environmental and Heritage Protection and the Premier.

“The more ammunition we have the better,” Cr Schmidt said.

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