Christmas Wonderland at Nerima Gardens will continue to shine

Ipswich City Council will continue with its wonderful Christmas Wonderland events in Nerima Gardens at Queens Park.

Mayor Teresa Harding said urgent discussions with Workplace Health and Safety officers today confirmed that the location was safe for the public for the night time lights display.

This follows information released by West Moreton Public Health Unit yesterday that a flying fox recovered from Queens Park had tested positive for Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV).

The Public Health Unit has been working closely with council to provide appropriate health advice. Council has been liaising with Queensland Health to ensure the safety of the community and the appropriate management of the situation.

Mayor Harding said council officers who work in the park and staff connected with the Christmas Wonderland event have been monitoring the numbers and activity of flying foxes daily. Parks staff have removed any injured, ill or dead bats prior to the park opening in the morning and through the day if required.

The vast majority of the flying foxes leave the gardens before 7pm and return after 10:30pm or later, which has meant this is the best time for the community to access the lights display.

While there may be some public concern after the discovery of the flying fox testing positive, council advises that the ongoing risk to the public is minimal and events will proceed as planned until further notice.

“Council conducted all the appropriate risk and safety checks before this year’s Christmas Wonderland was installed and Workplace Health and Safety confirmed people could continue to come to the gardens at night and enjoy the amazing displays without disturbing the resident flying fox population,” Mayor Harding said.

“The message is clear from Queensland Health experts: bats should not be handled by members of the public under any circumstances, even if they appear dead. Only people who are trained and appropriately vaccinated should handle bats.”

Mayor Harding said council would take extra precautions from today. Every ticket holder will be advised of the latest events and offered a refund if they no longer wished to attend. Extra signage would be placed around the gardens advising attendees of the inherent risk with the bat population in the park and to avoid coming into physical contact with them.

The virus, which is transmitted from bats to humans when infected bat saliva enters the human body, usually by a bite or scratch, is only found in a minute percentage of the bat population nationally.

“Our experts assure us it is safe to proceed and I am certain people will continue to have a wonderful time at Nerima Gardens with the Christmas Wonderland event.”

Mayor Harding said she had visited the gardens on several occasions since it opened last week and had enjoyed it with family, fellow councillors, council staff and members of the public.

“It is a wonderful time of the year and what a way to celebrate the end of 2020,” she said.

Read More

 >>>How this year’s Christmas Wonderland will help local charities

Local news and info to your inbox

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button