Nationals MP Gaelle Broad has urged the State Government to act on Bendigo’s bat colony amid
revelations they are preventing air ambulances from landing at Bendigo Hospital.
Ambulance Victoria helicopters have been forced to land at the Bendigo Airport and transfer critically
ill patients to road ambulances to get to and from the hospital.
Ms Broad said the situation was unacceptable and was potentially putting lives at risk.
She raised the issue again in Parliament this week, asking the Minister for the Environment to explain
what is being done to relocate the 38,000 bats that have taken up residence in Rosalind Park.
“Last Friday I was advised by a constituent that due to the bats swarming around dawn and dusk,
the Air Ambulance is unable to land safely at the Bendigo Hospital helipad and is being diverted to
Bendigo Airport – where patients are then transported by ambulance to the hospital,” Ms Broad told
“I’m told it is adding up to 45 minutes to the patient’s treatment, and precious time for those
experiencing cardiac stress.”
Ms Broad said she had been told up to eight air ambulances had been diverted within the last two
“This is a state government responsibility. The minister needs to get involved because the bats are
delaying air ambulances and putting lives at risk,” Ms Broad said.
Ms Broad previously raised concerns about the bat colony in Parliament in May.
She said the colony of grey headed flying foxes were ruining the jewel in Bendigo’s crown.
“They fly over the park, excrete everywhere, make an enormous amount of noise and have ruined
the amenity of what was once a beautiful park.
“Nearby schools and community events have been affected and local residents no longer want to use
“A similar situation occurred at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne in 2003, but in that case
there were only 30,000 bats in a much larger area. That colony was relocated.”
Photo caption: Bats in Rosalind Park this evening
Media Contact: Linda Barrow 0484 303 764 firstname.lastname@example.org