Start your engines

By DAVID MOASE

A RECENT trip to the Northern Territory has given Coffs Harbour mayor Cr Keith Rhoades an idea of how to mow down the flying fox problem in Coffs Harbour.

Cr Rhoades arrived at Thursday's council meeting armed with a copy of the Northern Territory News, Darwin's daily newspaper.

He commended to the council a story in the paper, titled 'Bat plague routed', and suggested it might hold some ideas for encouraging fruit bats to find somewhere else to roost.

According to the news story, the noise from lawn-mowers and stockwhips has been successful in scaring off the unwanted native animals at the Mataranka Homestead Resort, 430 kilometres south of Darwin.

The newspaper quoted resort owner Mick Lang as say- ing a gas gun and stockwhips had enjoyed some success.

"But the biggest thing was lawn-mowers," Mr Lang said.

"We went in with the rideon down the path and we used the hand mower between the trees where the undergrowth wasn't too thick and we kept at it every day.

"The scientists had all these big ideas but in the end it was the staff cracking stockwhips, and the mowers, that did it."



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