$2.5 million to relocate Batemans Bay bats

The community of Batemans Bay will be assisted in dealing with their troublesome local bat colony after Premier Mike Baird, Environment Minister Mark Speakman and Member for Bega Andrew Constance today announced $2.5 million to go towards the relocation of the flying-fox colony.

Grey-headed flying-fox colony, (Pteropus poliocephalus), vulnerable species

Eurobodalla Shire Council will receive the funding once it has an approved dispersal plan. The NSW Government has also pledged an additional $1 million to go towards managing other flying-fox trouble spots around NSW.

NSW Premier Mike Baird visited Batemans Bay today and said the flying-fox colony was clearly causing frustration for local residents.

“To have a situation where residents have to leave their homes due to the noise and odour from these animals is clearly unacceptable, but with this funding, we can now move ahead with dispersal and manage new sites for the bats,” Mr Baird said.

“The community has been very clear on this – the bats have become a massive problem.”

Mr Speakman said the flying-fox colony in Batemans Bay was unique and of unprecedented size.

“The grey headed flying-foxes are a protected species but when they camp in huge numbers, like we have seen in Batemans Bay with its camp of more than 100,000 flying-foxes, they cause serious issues for local residents,” Mr Speakman said.

Mr Constance said the government contribution could go towards both dispersing colonies and managing new sites for bats to avoid future trouble spots.

“We also look forward to seeing the Council put forward some funding following the Federal Government’s recent contribution,” Mr Constance said.

A large flying-fox camp formed in 2012 on council and private land in Batemans Bay. Eurobodalla Council has a draft management plan for the bats on public exhibition until Friday 27 May.