As with many local government areas Nambucca Shire Council has been the ear to community representations in respect to local Flying-fox camps and the associated impacts on urban areas. Local governments have been tasked with the management of this species which is listed as threatened under both State and Federal biodiversity legislation.
Nambucca Shire Council received funding support through NSW Government to prepare a Management Plan for the camp located at Gordon Park, Nambucca Heads and Council engaged Flying-fox experts Ecosure to prepare the plan. Initial phases of the project involved direct consultation with stakeholders and a survey targeted at landholders and businesses in the local area surrounding the camp.
Mayor Rhonda Hoban said, ‘the response to surveys has been overwhelming with over 100 surveys received which is reflection of the community interest in this matter. Concerns relating to noise, odour, faecal drop and the condition of the rainforest were all highlighted as the main issues’.
The Management Plan aims to alleviate the impacts associated with living or operating a business near the camp. It also proposes activities which will assist in the management of the local rainforest and the use of the local tennis facilities.
Many of the submissions nominated dispersal of the Flying-foxes as a priority action however subsequent investigations through the drafting of the plan identified a number of difficulties associated with this type of action including the high costs involved and the likelihood that the camp would splinter and move to a number of other nearby locations, potentially exacerbating the issue.
The preparation of the Management plan was not a simple exercise as the camp is located in the middle of town, within a sensitive environment which is also a popular tourist attraction. The Plan of Management was exhibited and later adopted by Council for implementation. Council will continue to source funds to implement actions contained in the plan. Enquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.