The Parliamentary Committee inquiring into the impact of flying foxes on urban communities tabled its report in the Federal Parliament today.
The inquiry was initiated last year by Federal Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon in response to the severe impacts flying fox colonies were having on Hunter communities.
Unsurprisingly, the Committee agreed with experts who said flying foxes play an important role in our ecology as seed dispersers and pollinators for a wide range of native fauna, Mr Fitzgibbon said.
But Committee members also recognised the extent of the problem for local communities and for local Councils. It has put forward a number of recommendations which address the complex and confusing web of regulations which make it so hard to deal with the problem.
The key initiative designed to deal with the complexities created by the multiple and overlapping roles of the three tiers of government is the recommendation for the establishment a flying fox working group within the Council of Australian Government (COAG) framework.
While forming another committee is not always my first choice, I hope governments embrace the recommendation. It can only help and it would be of particular assistance to our local Councils.
The Committee also wants the Government to provide additional funding to improve research and data collection to gain a better understanding of the problem.
Properly understanding a problem is always a first step in any effort to address it, he added.
Done well, the recommendation to provide Councils with tools for managing flying fox colonies may be useful.
The full report can be found HERE.