Flying fox Bill passes Lower House

A HISTORY-making private members Bill that passed through the Lower House of Federal Parliament today could free up the process of relocating the flying fox colony near Maclean High School.

Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker introduced The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (Public Health and Safety) Amendment Bill 2010, which was passed 71-70 with the support of independent cross benchers Tony Windsor, Bob Katter and WA National Tony Crooke.

Mr Hartsuyker said the Bill effectively removed federal environmental laws from the Maclean High School bat colony.

"If it passes in the Senate this Bill gives Federal Government bureaucrats no say in granting a licence to relocate the bat colony away from the school," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"Once the State Government approves legislation to relocate the bats, they would not need to get get Federal approval."

Mr Hartsuyker described the current position as a "Mexican stand-off" between the Federal and State governments.

"The Federal Government told the school’s bats working group not to apply for a licence because they wouldn’t pass it," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"Then the State authorities didn’t apply for a licence because they said they wouldn’t waste their time and resources. Then the Feds would say they couldn’t do anything because they hadn’t received a licence application.

"If it passes the Senate it will end this Mexican stand-off."



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