Eurobodalla Council is offering a range of practical help to residents affected by the Batemans Bay Water Gardens flying fox camp.
Residents living within 250 metres of the Water Gardens reserve received a letter last week offering them free rental of a high pressure cleaner to clean faecal drop from their outdoor furniture and patios.
They could also be eligible for free a car cover, clothesline cover, and the removal of cocos palms, which attract the flying foxes, from their yards.
This assistance represents actions from a Water Gardens Grey-headed Flying Fox Management Plan adopted by council on December 8, 2015.
Council’s environmental services manager Deb Lenson acknowledged that the measures don’t solve the problem.
“But they are a practical way we can help residents living close to the flying fox camp,” she said.
“We will also maintain the buffer zones created last year where we pruned and removed some vegetation between the dwellings and the Water Gardens Reserve.
“This is bringing some relief to residents by taking away opportunities for the flying foxes to roost in trees and plants overhanging residences.”
Ms Lenson said that council had also committed to enhancing the Water Gardens by removing weeds and rubbish.
“We have submitted a grant application to the NSW Government for funding to assist with this,” she said.
Residents have until February 12 to express their interest in the offers and they will be notified of their eligibility as soon as possible.
Council says site inspections may be required to determine residents’ requirements and priorities.
The Flying-fox Camp Management Plan aims to address the concerns of residents near the Water Gardens and the broader community, while not creating conflict between people and the flying foxes elsewhere, and managing the camp consistent with statutory requirements.
Culling and dispersal of the camp was not supported because experience from other sites shows these approaches are not effective in the long term. They are expensive and require lengthy approvals with uncertain outcomes.
These options would probably shift the camp to one or more other locations, creating conflict elsewhere.
The Plan was developed using information specific to the Water Gardens and also drawing on experience from management of a wide range of other flying-fox camps throughout Australia.
Community opinions and feedback were also considered.
A copy of the plan can be viewed on council’s website or at the Batemans Bay Community Centre.
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