Lorn residents packed the council chambers last night cheering the adoption of recommendations that give them hope of banishing noisy and dirty bats.
Residents vied for every vantage point, sitting on the floor and standing, inside and out – about 70 people.
Councillor Arch Humphery successfully moved three items that will see council take the fight to the ministers for environment, health and education.
“Never have I had an issue that has brought people to tears like this and to the point of begging,” he said. “This is a very serious issue that needs to be pursued vigorously.”
Cr Lisa Tierney seconded the motion. Cr Henry Meskauskas successfully moved a sixth point that the federal representatives of the concerned portfolios be approached firing a broadside at all ministers concerned.
“You voted for them and at the end of the day they go missing,” he said. “I’m sad that it has taken so long to get to this point and that is has depended on the plan of management (PoM).”
The report to council last night recommended a council briefing be held once the draft PoM was in hand and that a community briefing follow soon after in April.
The final PoM is due May which will then be presented to the both tiers of government.
Cr Loretta Baker spoke of her frustration given the PoM was initiated four months earlier.
“I’m conscious this is not the actual plan we’re talking about only the precursor,” she said. “What we need is political will – we can’t have them say ‘you can’t do that’ – you have to say what we can do.”
Cr Ray Fairweather said he’d received numerous “heart wrenching” emails on the matter.
“This is one of the largest gatherings I have seen in my 35 years on council,” he said. “I’m not hanging my hat on the management plan holding all the answers.
“I fully support Cr Humphery’s motion; it has given the report’s recommendation more teeth.”
Cr Ken Wethered said more haste was needed to end the nightmare.
“Wheels tend to move slowly in these things but the wheels of government tend to move even slower,” he said.
Cr Bob Geoghegan urged residents to write to their members to appeal the determination the bats and flying foxes be protected and the laws governing this.
“I can’t understand why these flying foxes are classified as a vulnerable species,” he said.