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Authorised flying-fox roost management

Low impact activities affecting flying-fox roosts

All persons are authorised to undertake low impact activities at roosts, i.e. weeding, mulching, mowing or minor tree trimming, however these activities may only be undertaken in accordance with the code of practice – low impact activities affecting flying-fox roosts (PDF, 185K).

Operating outside of the code of practice is not authorised and may have legal consequences. For example, non-code compliant actions could breach sections of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 or the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, as well as the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Management, including dispersal, of flying-fox roosts

Persistent noise, smell and damage to property from flying-foxes can be real concerns for many parts of the community, especially where flying-fox roosts form in urban areas.

Recognising this, the Queensland Government puts the health and wellbeing of the community as the central consideration regarding flying-fox roost management.

The Queensland Government also recognises the important role local governments continue to play in managing issues around flying-fox roosts in urban areas. On 29 November 2013, the government introduced a new approach to flying-fox roost management that empowers local governments to make their own decisions about how to best manage individual flying-fox roosts in urban areas, and authorises them to act on these decisions without the need for a permit under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Local governments are now authorised as-of right under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to manage, including disperse, flying-fox roosts in defined urban areas—urban flying-fox management areas (UFFMA). The as-of-right management activities are limited to non-lethal methods, and may only be undertaken in accordance with the code of practice – ecologically sustainable management of flying-fox roosts (PDF, 296K). The code of practice ensures acceptable welfare outcomes for flying foxes.

Since the introduction of the new roost management framework, the use of non-lethal measures has proven effective in resolving many of the roost management problems experienced by local communities.

Local governments wishing to either conduct non-code compliant activities within a UFFMA or manage a roost outside of the UFFMAs are required to obtain a flying-fox roost management permit (FFRMP) from the department.

Operating outside of the code of practice, or outside of urban flying-fox management areas without a FFRMP is not authorised and may have legal consequences. For example, actions could breach sections of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 or the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, as well as the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Prior to the introduction of the new framework, the government also received a number of representations from local councils that they be given access to the full range of management tools including the ability to use lethal control where non-lethal measures had been exhausted.

Given the effectiveness to date of the new non-lethal framework, the government does not intend to proceed with any further changes to the framework that would allow lethal take to be used as a means of roost management.

Statements of management intent

A key element of any flying-fox management program is the provision of information, particularly for those neighborhoods directly affected by flying-fox roosts. To assist councils in engaging their communities councils may develop and publish a Statement of Management Intent (SoMI). For more information about a SoMI refer to page four of the Flying fox roost management guideline (PDF, 705K).

The statement will articulate a council’s plans for how it will manage both existing and new roosts in its UFFMA and ensure that communities are well informed about how their council will deal with flying-fox roosts. (A template (PDF, 166K) that councils can use to prepare a Statement of Management Intent is available on this website as a guide).

The Nature Conservation Act 1992 has been amended to give the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection the ability to require a council to develop and publish a Statement of Management Intent for roost management in its UFFMA. Examples of where this action may be taken include situations where there is a potential breach in the code of practice – ecologically sustainable management of flying-fox roosts (PDF, 296K) or where there has been inadequate community engagement.

Flying-fox management plans

Councils will also have the option to develop a flying-fox management plan to cover their entire local government area. If the plans are endorsed by the department, councils will be able to be granted a three-year approval to manage flying-fox roosts outside of urban areas. This will reduce the need for reactive requests for approvals for individual roost sites outside of urban areas.

A whole-of-local government area flying-fox management plan could identify areas where flying-foxes roosts may be problematic and where flying-foxes should be discouraged from roosting. It could also identify alternative sites where new roosts may be encouraged, or left to establish with minimal intervention. The department will develop an example template and guideline to assist councils in the development of these plans.

An attempt by anyone other than a local government to manage or disperse a flying-fox roost requires a flying-fox roost management permit.

While the health and wellbeing of people is central to the Queensland Government’s new approach, the sustainability of Queensland’s flying-fox species will not be put at risk. Widespread culling of flying-foxes will not be authorised.

Further information and forms

Flying-fox management actions under current legislation (29 November 2013 - present)

 Summary of flying-fox roost management permits

Landholder category

Approved

Refused

Withdrawn/
Surrendered

Under assessment

Total

No. of permits

LGA

No. of permits

LGA

No. of permits

LGA

No. of permits

LGA

Local government

12

  • Charters Towers Regional Council
  • Gold Coast City Council
  • Isaac Regional Council
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Sunshine Coast Council
  • Toowoomba Regional Council
  • Whitsunday Regional Council

0

 

1

  •  Rockahmpton Regional Council

0

 

13

Private 

20

  • Brisbane City Council
  • Bundaberg Regional Council (expired)
  • Cairns Regional Council
  • Cassowary Coast Regional Council
  • Gladstone Region Council
  • Gold Coast City Council
  • Isaac Regional Council
  • Ipswich City Council
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Rockhampton Regional Council
  • Sunshine Coast Council
  • Tablelands Regional Council (expired)
  • Whitsunday Regional Council

0

 

0

 

1

  • Cairns Regional Council

21

Sub-total

33

0

1

1

35

Summary of local government notifications for proposed as-of-right flying-fox management activities in UFFMAs 
Local government                                            No. of roosts for which notifications have been received No. of notifications total for LGA
Banana Regional Shire 1 5
Barcaldine Regional Council 1 1
Brisbane City Council 4 9
Burdekin Shire Council 1 5
Cairns Regional Council 4 24
Central Highlands Regional Council 1 7
Charters Towers Regional Council 2 11
Gladstone Regional Council 1 1
Gold Coast City Council 1 1
Gympie Regional Council 2 2
Hinchinbrook Shire Council 2 2
Ipswich City Council 2 2
Isaac Regional Council 3 10
Lockyer Valley Regional Council 2 3
Maranoa Regional Council 1 4
Mareeba Shire Council 2 5
Moreton Bay Regional Council 9 13
Noosa Shire Council 1 2
North Burnett Regional Council 2 2
Redlands City Council 1 1
Scenic Rim Regional Council 3 7
Somerset Regional Council 3 22
Sunshine Coast Regional Council 5 13
Tablelands Regional Council 2 7
Toowoomba Regional Council 4 5
Townsville Regional Council 2 5
Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council 1 1
Western Downs Regional Council 2 5
Whitsunday Regional Council 1 3
29 66

178

Flying-fox management actions under previous legislative provisions (Up to 28 November 2013)

 Summary of flying-fox damage mitigation permits
Financial year (FY) Received this FY only Approved^ Refused ^ Withdrawn/
Surrendered^
Under assessment^
2013-14 15 14 0 1 2
2012-13 27 24 0 2 3
2011-12 20 13 1 6 0
2010-11 6 4 1 1 0

^ Applications approved, refused, withdrawn/surrendered or under assessment may have been received in previous financial years

More information

Refer to the flying-foxes: questions and answers for more information

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Last updated
28 July 2016