‘Going insane’: Council's plan to tackle Blackbutt plague
Residents in Blackbutt are at their wits end over the town's flying fox problem, pushing a petition through to the council questioning what can be done about the ever-growing colony.
Blackbutt is the latest town to be inundated with the noisy critters, which have proved difficult to deal with in the past given their protected status.
The petition, which CEO Mark Pitt said received a "significant" number of signatures, was forwarded to the council by Nanango MP Deb Frecklington on behalf of the residents to address the bat colony in Hart Street and the adjacent creek area.
Recalling the plague of half a million bats, which wreaked havoc for Gayndah back in 2011, Mr Pitt said tackling the problem will be no easy task.
"It's a difficult thing to manage, particularly if they are pregnant, because you can't do anything to stress the bat or the baby," he said.
"There are very few options on how to deal with them."
Cr Scott Henschen said the bats not only create problems for local producers, particularly stone fruit growers, but are also dangerous animals given their propensity to spread diseases, such as Lyssavirus and Hendra virus.
Cr Gavin Jones said residents are subjected to the "putrid smell" of flying fox urine and faeces, and said it's "appalling what these people are dealing with".
"There's people living along the edge of Taromeo Creek that are going insane," Cr Jones said.
"This flying fox colony is right on the edge of town with houses right underneath the trees.
"The people living along Taromeo Creek are really suffering, not just health wise but mentally as well.
"I really do want to implore on the council that we do need to prioritise this."
Council officers will undertake an assessment and a preliminary report will be brought back before council at April's Standard Committee Meeting.