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Batemans Bay gets $2.5 million funding to relocate bats as residents live in 'state of emergency' Megabat Fruit Bat Flying foxes


PHOTO: The thousands of bats are a serious nuisance to residents. (Fairfax: Josh Gidney)

RELATED STORY: Batemans Bay bat population set to be dispersed
MAP: Batemans Bay 2536

The New South Wales Government has committed $2.5 million to solving the problem of flying foxes in Batemans Bay, describing the situation as a "state of emergency".

At peak times more than 100,000 flying foxes call Batemans Bay and its immediate surrounds on the NSW South Coast home, and the noise and odour they create is a serious nuisance for residents.

NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman said locals were living in extraordinary circumstances, and the animals needed to be relocated.

"We've had over 100,000 flying foxes settle in Batemans Bay, we think that represents about a quarter to a fifth of the entire national population, so it has been quite an extraordinary circumstance," he said.

"We've had many residents complain, they feel they're prisoners in their own homes, they can't go out, they have to have air conditioning on the whole time, windows closed.

"[The circumstances] really amount almost to a state of emergency."

The Eurobodalla Council has published a draft management plan, which proposes spraying trees with deterrents, and using giant inflatable tube men akin to those used in advertising, to scare the animals away.

But Local MP Andrew Constance said the final decision on what methods would be used is yet to be made.

"We have to wait and see what the council's consultants advise on the best dispersal techniques," he said.

"The community is desperate for any solution to be tried."

Eurobodalla Mayor Lindsay Brown said a range of options were on the table.

"The current method that seems to be the one that's working the most ... is extremely loud industrial noise combined with smoke and combined with bright lights in an effort to make the area where the flying foxes roost to be as uncomfortable as possible," he said.

Last week Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said he would seek an exemption to federal laws to ensure the dispersal could go ahead.

From other news sites:
The Herald: Hunter bat plague: Mike Baird announces $2.5 million for Batemans Bay but zilch for the Hunter


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Megabats and Microbats: Batemans Bay gets $2.5 million funding to relocate bats as residents live in 'state of emergency' Megabat Fruit Bat Flying foxes
Batemans Bay gets $2.5 million funding to relocate bats as residents live in 'state of emergency' Megabat Fruit Bat Flying foxes
Batemans Bay gets $2.5 million funding to relocate bats as residents live in 'state of emergency' Megabat Fruit Bat Flying foxes
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