Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon has expressed anger at the Federal Environment Ministers announcement of a package to assist a south coast council with its flying fox problem while giving no consideration to the same issues in the Hunter region.
Yesterday Greg Hunt announced a significant package of assistance for Eurobodalla Council which he should now extend to Councils in the Hunter region.
Ive had many conversations with the Minister including one this morning in which he cited a substantial submission he has received from Eurobodalla Council, Mr Fitzgibbon said.
Ive also spoken with the Mayor of Eurobodalla who tells me the Council is investing $100,000 in their plan.
The inability of local Councils to invest large amounts of money in a strategy document should not be a barrier to government assistance.
In some areas including Cessnock, there is dispute about whether the flying fox roosting areas are the responsibility of the Council or the NSW Government because they are on Crown land.
Councils are reluctant to invest large amounts of money in dispersal plans when there is no guarantee of NSW and Commonwealth Government approval. They have been bitten in the past.
The Minister must extend the same consideration to Hunter Councils as he has to Eurobodalla.
Then Councils can move forward with an investment in dispersal plans with full confidence they will be given the favourable consideration afforded Eurobodalla Mr Fitzgibbon added.
Assistance to Councils should not be based on the colour of their political representation.
WEDNESDAY, 18 MAY 2016