The State Government has announced a new strategy to help local councils minimise the impacts of flying foxes in built-up areas.
The State Government has announced a new strategy to help local councils minimise the impacts of flying foxes in built-up areas. APN photo library

Policy to help communities deal with flying foxes

THE State Government has announced a new strategy to minimise the impacts of flying foxes in populated areas.

The draft policy aims to minimise the impacts on people and empower councils to sustainably manage flying-fox camps.

"The strategy strongly encourages councils and other land managers to prepare camp management plans for sites where the local community is affected," State Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser said.

"We are taking a pragmatic approach to addressing the frustration that the community has felt and this policy will deliver better outcomes for people and for the species."

Flying-foxes remain protected and under the new policy land managers will be able to get a five year license to:

  • Create buffer zones by removing vegetation to create a separation from populated areas and to disturb animals at the boundary of the camp to encourage roosting away from human settlement;
  • Carry out camp disturbance or dispersal by clearing of vegetation or dispersal of animals by noise, water, smoke or light; and
  • Undertake camp management such as removal of trees that pose a health and safety risk, weed removal (including removal of noxious weeds), trimming of understorey vegetation and the planting of vegetation.

"The NSW Government has also provided $4 million for a netting subsidy program for orchardists to protect their crops against damage from flying-foxes," Mr Fraser said.

The Flying-fox Management Policy is now on public exhibition and can be viewed by clicking here http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspecies/flyingfoxcamppol.htm



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