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Monday, 3 June 2013
Page: 4777


Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (13:57): Following on from the story on 60 Minutes last night about the serious issue of bat lyssavirus: we have many areas in Sydney that have these problems with bats, especially the area of Kareela. The bats are not native to that area. They were moved on from the Kurnell Peninsula when the desalination plant was constructed. There were warnings at the time that the construction of the desalination plant would result in those bats moving and their habitat being disturbed. Unfortunately, like many things about the desalination plant, those warnings were not adhered to. Now we have a colony of 10,000 bats right next to a disabled school and an area that educates disabled adults.

Our Sutherland shire local council is doing the right thing. However, they have been forced to pay $70,000 for a management plan—$70,000 from the ratepayers of the shire to put together a management plan to move these bats on. That management plan is already finished. However, they have a very short period of time in which they can act. Therefore it is up to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Minister Burke, who I see is here in the chamber now. I call on the environment minister to ensure that he works with the Sutherland Shire Council and that the management plan is put into place quickly so that these bats can be moved on during the winter period and the kids— (Time expired)