Hopes for the bats in the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) appear to be fading fast under the new state government.
While the previous Labor government authorised the relocation of the RBG’s vulnerable grey-headed flying fox population, due to begin in May, it was hoped that the new government would respond to political pressure and rethink the plan. Sadly though the new Liberal government seems to have decided that the environment and animal welfare are very low priorities and they have already started moving against grey-headed flying foxes elsewhere.
After the initial disappointment of, in it’s first few days in office, abolishing the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (reducing it to a sub-department of the Department of Premier and Cabinet) the government has now declared it will fast track the issuing of licences to shoot grey-headed flying foxes.
This is in direct contradiction to the statement made before the election by Liberal environment spokesperson Catherine Cussack (who was promptly dropped from the frontbench after the election because of her disagreements with the Shooters Party) that these licences would be phased out in two years.
I have since written to new environment Minister Robyn Parker requesting her support for ending the relocation plan however I am yet to receive a response and the recent developments give little reason for optimism.
It’s heartbreaking to know that after being flushed out of their current habitat in the RBG many of the bats will seek new homes in or near farmland, for which they may be shot under these fast tracked licences.
I would once again ask anyone who hasn’t already done so to sign the petition against the relocation and for anyone who has to pass it onto family and friends so we can show how much support these majestic and important creatures have amongst locals and visitors alike.