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Flying-fox Draft Management Plan Tamworth NSW Australia


Friday 18 November, 2016

The on-going cost of managing flying-foxes will be a matter for Tamworth Regional Councillors to determine as the need arises, a report to be considered at next Tuesday’s Ordinary Meeting reveals.

It explains that should Council wish to undertake any of the management actions outlined in a Flying-fox Camp Management Plan, a separate report to Council will be first provided detailing the works to be undertaken and the specific cost to Council.

Tamworth Region Mayor Col Murray said it was timely the report is ready for Councillors to consider because in the past 10 days hundreds of flying-foxes have returned to roost in trees on the banks of the Peel River adjacent to King George V Avenue.

“Council staff and nearby residents have been monitoring the noticeable increase in the number of flying-foxes to the area,” he said. “Some weeks ago there was only a handful and now there is up to 2000. I am hopeful Councillors will take a step forward with the draft plan next Tuesday night.”

Cr Murray said the report explains that while Council is not legally obligated to manage flying-fox camps, it is the government body or agency best able to step into the role for its community.

“Under the existing State Government framework, it is Local Government which is situated best to act as the land manager to coordinate the management response a community decides is most relevant for their area,” he said.

Late last month, Councillors decided to defer endorsing the Draft Flying-fox Camp Management Plan – Peel River Camp because they wanted more information about the cost of the range of measures set out in the plan as well as possible risks and legal responsibilities.

It was also last month when Council was advised its application for a Local Government NSW Flying-fox Grant was successful with a total of $50,000 in funds approved to use on implementing measures set out in a flying-fox camp management plan.

The Council report explains the Draft Camp Management Plan must go on public exhibition to allow community members the chance to develop an understanding of the approach proposed to manage flying-foxes at the Peel River Camp before any actions are undertaken.

Potentially affected landholders and residents will be able to become part of the decision making process through providing feedback during the exhibition period. The comments will be considered in producing the final plan to be submitted to Council for endorsement.

The actions in a plan are not permitted to start until after the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage approved the Camp Management Plan and issues a Section 91 licence under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.



At the November 2016 Ordinary Council Meeting, Council resolved to place the Flying-fox Draft Management Plan on Public Exhibition. This will occur from 3 December 2016 – to 13 January 2017

Flying-foxes are part of a complex and interdependent natural system, and their behaviours are complex and hard to predict. This presents difficulties for communities and land managers. Their response to management intervention can be unpredictable. In particular, while our level of knowledge is improving all the time, there may be undesirable impacts arising from the dispersal of a camp.

Where flying-fox camps are in close proximity to urban settlements and are causing amenity issues through noise, odour, prevalence of flying-fox droppings, or health concerns (including mental health), proactive management of camps is recommended.

In order to minimise the undesirable impacts, Council has prepared the draft Flying-Fox plan. The draft plan identifies two major flying-fox camps on the Peel River adjacent to King George V Avenue and on land opposite Bicentennial Park at the junction of the Peel River and Goonoo Goonoo Creek (known as the “park” camp).

Work proposed under the draft management plan includes the removal of “roosting’ trees along the Bicentennial Park riverbank, removal of weed species from the “park” camp site, bank stabilisation and weed control and habitat thinning at the King George V Avenue camp. It also includes community education about the management plan and flying-foxes plus the installation of signage.

The public exhibition of the draft plan gives affected landholders and the wider regional community the opportunity to become part of the decision making process. The feedback received by Council will be used to develop the final plan to be submitted to Council for endorsement. An application for a Section 91 licence under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 must then be submitted to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage for Assessment. Once it is granted, actions outlined in the plan can start.

The draft plan may be downloaded by clicking the link below:
Flying-fox Draft Management Plan
pdf backup
Tell Council what you think

Community members are being asked to tell Tamworth Regional Council what they think about the proposed plan for the future management of flying-foxes.

Council encourages the community to have their say about the Flying-fox Draft Management Plan - Peel River Camp. What would you like to see Council do to manage future influxes of flying-foxes? What do you think about the proposed management plan? The feedback you give will help Councillors understand the level of resources local residents want Council to use as well as the types of actions they want to see taken.

Written submissions will be accepted until 13 January, 2017 by email to [email protected] or by letter to: The General Manager, Tamworth Regional Council, PO Box 555, Tamworth NSW 2340.

Flying foxes in the local area
For more information about flying-foxes in the Tamworth Region click here.

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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: Flying-fox Draft Management Plan Tamworth NSW Australia
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