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Council Connections - Mayor's Message 5 February 2020

5th February 2020

Flying Fox Management Update

A large number of little red flying foxes have departed. There are still significant numbers in the roost area and Council staff continue to ensure that the critical areas remain clear as best as possible.

Biodiversity Australia staff were on ground in Ingham last week undertaking assessments of the roost and other areas for the purpose of finalising the plan of action to attempt dispersal. Operations are planned to commence the week beginning 10 February 2020 weather permitting.

A substantial amount of animals are currently roosting in the Log Creek system adjacent Apex Village. They have proven uncooperative to attempts to shift due largely to the denser nature of vegetation. Biodiversity Australia have advised that they should be left alone until the operations commence for strategic purposes. We have communicated that information to residents of the area.

We are awaiting details of works proposed from Biodiversity Australia for communication to the public.

Biodiversity Australia have advised that a key aspect of the operation is very succinct coordination of various mediums that will be used, particularly noise. To that end, residents will be asked NOT to assist in the process. Unlike the assistance residents provided to Council staff, on this occasion you will be asked to do nothing. Contact numbers for Biodiversity Australia operatives will be advertised and residents experiencing animals landing on their property will be asked to ring such people for assistance/intervention.

As we are well aware from previous case studies, dismantling of a long established roost is quite a complex and difficult process – so we must ensure that we give ourselves the best chance of success possible by working closely with the experts.

It is also expected that significant noise will be generated so keepers of animals skittish to noise will need to lock up their animals to prevent running away.

Further details will be provided as soon as they come to hand.

DFRA Restoration Works

DFRA works to rebuild damaged road assets following flood events experienced in 2018 and 2019 are continuing with Council awarding a further five contracts to the value of $4.48 million at its General Meeting on 28 January 2020.

Council is cognizant of the weather and that there is a risk of undertaking roadworks during the middle of the wet season. However, the conditions of the DFRA funding regime require that all work associated with the damage caused by the 2018 events be completed by June 2020 and therefore, whilst all care will be taken and works of lesser risk to others prioritised to lessen risks of adverse weather, the jobs need to be rolled out now.

Levee Requirements

Council has been receiving an extraordinary number of complaints concerning construction of levee banks around the district. All complaints must be investigated and if required, appropriate action taken.

It is timely to issue a reminder that since April 2014, it is an offence to interfere with or divert the flow of water through construction or placement of any form of works or structures, including a levee without obtaining permits/licence.

A permit/licence can not be issued unless it can be proven that the works will not deleteriously affect your neighbour or any other person. Please check out the laws in place before you potentially go wasting a lot of money. Council can assist you with details of requirements and legislation presently in place.

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