Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and Clarence Valley Council Mayor Jim Simmons talk at the bottom of Hillcrest where the bats population has taken over the trees. Clarence Valley Council has received a grant from the state government to manage the bat population in the area.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and Clarence Valley Council Mayor Jim Simmons talk at the bottom of Hillcrest where the bats population has taken over the trees. Clarence Valley Council has received a grant from the state government to manage the bat population in the area. Adam Hourigan

Council's strategy to reduce impact of Maclean's bat problem

CLARENCE Valley Council has received a $34,000 NSW Government grant under its Flying Fox Grant Program to help manage flying foxes in Maclean, Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis announced today.

The NSW Government announced in June that $1 million in grant funds would be available for councils to prepare and implement flying fox camp plans of management where flying foxes caused significant community impacts.

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and Clarence Valley Council Mayor Jim Simmons talk at the bottom of Hillcrest where the bats population has taken over the trees. Clarence Valley Council has received a grant from the state government to manage the bat population in the area.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and Clarence Valley Council Mayor Jim Simmons talk at the bottom of Hillcrest where the bats population has taken over the trees. Clarence Valley Council has received a grant from the state government to manage the bat population in the area. Adam Hourigan

Mr Gulaptis said the grant would allow Council to create buffers between the flying fox camp and nearby residences and the school.

"Trimming and clearing vegetation at the camp boundary will increase the distance between the flying fox colony and homes, reducing the impact on residents," Mr Gulaptis said.

"The Council will also undertake weed control to improve suitable flying fox habitat and progress a range of community engagement activities to make living adjacent to a flying fox camp more tolerable."

Clarence Valley Mayor, Jim Simmons, said the money would be used to support the implementation of the adopted Maclean flying fox management strategy.

"Council and the flying fox working group will use the funds to provide further buffers around the houses adjacent the rainforest gully by removing more camphor laurels and replacing habitat in areas away from the school and houses," he said.

Mr Gulaptis was also shown around Maclean High School earlier in the week to see new seating installed on the school oval to protect students from overhead bats.

The seats were a joint project between Yamba Rotary and the Maclean High School Interact club, and youth organiser for Yamba Rotary Staff Sheldon said it was a project a long time in the making

"We've been working on it for some time, and it's something that we are really proud of," he said.

"With the help of a local engineering company, we designed and installed this one with a hope to put in some other seats.

"And we've put it in and everyone has approved. The seat has a metal roof over it and if the bats are flying overhead, the kids can sit there and no chance of getting splattered by bat poo."

Mr Sheldon said the group was now working to develop a design with two chairs and a table in betwen with a metal roof overhead.



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