Flying fox petition doesn't take off, but Gee says cause is still on track

NOT SURPRISED: Member for Orange Andrew Gee.

NOT SURPRISED: Member for Orange Andrew Gee.

MEMBER for Orange Andrew Gee says he wasn’t surprised a petition pushing for a netting subsidy program to stop flying foxes has only collected 100 signatures since its launch two weeks ago.

Mr Gee said despite only collecting 100 signatures the campaign to stop flying foxes decimating crops was still on track.

He said he didn’t expect the petition to attract a large number of signatures in Orange, but it was important to show solidarity with residents in other locations such as Maclean near Yamba where sizable numbers of flying foxes were threatening their crops.

“It’s about combining forces,” he said.

“At the moment bats aren’t infecting urban areas of Orange, so it’s not a big issue for people in Orange.

“For some people it’s out of sight, out of mind.

“We also weren’t expecting high numbers of signatures as the only people who see the petition are those who do business at rural supply centres.”

Mr Gee said he recently spoke to the NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes about the need for the netting and was pleased by his favourable response.

“I indicated the type of netting we’re interested in and he seemed very keen to find a solution that works for orchardists,” he said.

Mr Gee said he planned to keep the petition active until the issue is resolved.

“I think orchardists would like to see a little less talk and a lot more action,” Mr Gee said.

The petition can be signed at Mr Gee’s electorate office at 123 Byng Street or at local rural supply centres.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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