Castley-Wright shoots video and destroys Council decision on Cairns Flying Fox!
To whom it may concern
I am writing to you to submit opposition to the proposed application by the CRC for the dispersal of the Flying Fox Colony located at the Council Library and Novotel Oasis in Cairns. Let me first state that the Spectacled species are listed as Federally Vulnerable and are protected under the act. The Novotel Oasis Cairns has 3 times applied for DMP and was refused. The Council has no new grounds that would deem a different outcome to that of the Novotel Oasis Cairns applications.
The motivation for the application is without merit and it is motivated by the Novotel Oasis failure to sell the southern (development stage 2) site of their property.
The bats are of an ecological and economical importance. Tourists are drawn to the library daily and are common site photographing the bats at the Library and Novotel. I have recorded guests from the Novotel exiting the rear of the premises to photograph the bats. The bats are regularly reported in Trip Adviser, Yelp and individuals Facebook pages. Mayor Manning stated that he does not see tourists at this location. This is not true and I have attached a video proving this to be false. We are an Eco Tourist location and the removal of wildlife is detrimental to our economy.
If the permit is issued, it will lead to the destruction of Historical trees that have stood for over a hundred years. The trees are all that remains from the Cairns School site that was developed into the Novotel Oasis. It was conditions of development that the trees be protected. Expert advice Stated that pruning would be extremely severe in order to discourage the colony. The location has high traffic of noise from vehicles and human activity, but it has not discouraged the colony. They like it here and seem content with attention they get from tourists as well.
It is proven historically that you cannot control where the bats move to and they generally relocate within 600m of the existing Roost. This means the Council would have to continue and destroy all trees in the city precinct in order to relocate the colony out of the urban region. It has been identified that the Esplanade (a less ideal location), with more people traffic and dining is most likely where the bats will relocate to. Shop owners, Restauranteurs and other Hotels do not support this dispersal. The only supporter appears to be the Novotel Oasis who threatened legal action and this comes back to their desire to sell the land. Their clientele love the bats.
There is no health risk to the public. The council attempts to mislead hysterically claiming there is a risk of death. All educated people know this is not factual and that there is vaccine for Lyssavirus and the statistics show that only 3 people in 17 years have been died due to bats Australia wide – Domesticated dogs cannot come close to this safety record. The latest boy, who was not bitten at this colony (bitten in Townsville) did not inform anyone of his contact and several weeks later died. This death is not due to bats, it is due to lack of education by government agencies to inform the public to avoid contact and to seek immediate medical attention if they do. Had he been immediately vaccinated, he would not have died.
This colony is the major colony for this region. As is the case with all colonies they do come and go. This colony has been present for over 30 years as per council and scientific reports. The Mayor quotes newspaper articles of 2003, although no-one has presented the article, when there are articles dating back to July 7 1991 which refers to the colony. This colony is an important ecological requirement of our rainforest. It does not meet any of the 5 criteria legally required to meet the granting of a Damage Mitigation Permit, which is why your department has refused the Novotel Oasis applications three times previously. Precedent has not changed. The colony began to birth babies early July 2012, which is now. It is reported that the Mayor is attempting to fast track the application but the animals are already in a less exploratory stage. Even if this were possible, it would be inappropriate to commence until after breeding season.
I request your department continue with common sense that our Mayor lacks and refuse the application. To proceed can only lead to a more detrimental scenario. The financial and ecological disaster of issuing a permit will see historic trees destroyed and a real problem created with increased probability of disease to the colony in a less practical location.
I appreciate any consideration given to opposing this inhumane attack on an innocent and valuable species.