Family forced out of home by army of flying foxes
A PALMWOODS family faces eviction because of a bat colony which has taken over their rental property.
Kurt Semple, 29, his wife, Tiana, 34, and their children, aged 15 and 8, have been given notice to vacate their home of four years for "health and safety" reasons
Mr Semple said a colony of "a couple of hundred" flying foxes moved in about two years ago but had since grown to 350,000-500,000.
The Semples were given notice to leave after raising the issue of the flying foxes in correspondence with their letting agent about repairs.
The notice to leave did not say why but Mr Semple said he had been told it was for "health and safety" reasons.
Mr Semple said even if they left, the problem would remain for other residents in and near Jubilee Dr.
"If it's a safety risk for us, it's a safety risk for everyone else," Mr Semple said.
Sunshine Coast Council previously dispersed a colony of flying foxes in Dunning St, Palmwoods, and Mr Semple said it was time to do the same at Jubilee Dr.
"We don't go outside between 5pm and 7pm and by 3.30am or 4am, everyone gets woken up," he said
"The smell coming down that way is enough to kill a donkey."
A council spokesman said it was unable to act on the Jubilee Dr flying foxes because they were on State Government property.
When humans and flying foxes can't live together who should be moved on?
This poll ended on 08 March 2016.
The flying foxes.
Those who were there first should be allowed to stay.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"Whether it's State Government-owned or not, why is it okay to leave everyone else in the street?" he said.
Mr Semple does not want to leave.
"They'll have to drag me from here in handcuffs, that's the way I'm leaving," he said.
Member for Glass House Andrew Powell said flying foxes had previously split their time between Dunning St and Jubilee Dr.
Mr Powell said there had been fewer complaints once the flying foxes settled at Jubilee Dr and it had appeared to be an acceptable "community solution".
After being informed of the Semples' predicament, he offered work with them to secure their home or find alternative accommodation.
A TMR spokesman said the department simply responded after being informed of the bat infestation.
"Our immediate concern is the safety and wellbeing of the tenants and on that basis, we sought vacant possession of the property while providing the family with two months' notice," he said.
The spokesman said the department had offered to meet with the family to help them relocate and the property would remain vacant until the bats have relocated.
- Flying foxes are important in dispersing seeds and pollinating plants
- There are two types: fruit and nectar feeders and insect eaters
- Flying foxes are protected