Date: 10 October 2012
Maitland City Council will request support from the local state and
federal members of parliament for a review of the existing legislation in
place for the protection of the grey-headed flying fox.
The request for support comes as a result of the barriers Council has
encountered in trying to reduce the numbers of the grey-headed flying fox
camp currently existing in Lorn.
Since the Lorn Flying Fox Management Strategy and subsequent Plan of
Works were adopted earlier this year Council has secured two certificates
from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), authorising the trimming
of 23 specially identified trees.
Prior to the commencement of this work Council was required to appoint
an ecologist to monitor the action of the camp, which led to the discovery of
numerous heavily pregnant female flying foxes. As a consequence of this, the
council is unable to proceed with the work at this time.
Council remains authorised until 2014 to conduct night time tree
lopping once circumstances permit, or alternatively if the camp is vacated
for at least two consecutive days. Officers are currently monitoring the camp
every day for reduction in numbers but it’s estimated the population remains
at around 8,000.
General Manager David Evans said Council hopes that its request for a
review of the legislation may lead to a legislative framework within which
the circumstances of affected residents are given more consideration.
‘Council has had nothing but cooperation from the officers of state
department of OEH in securing the approvals we now have in place.
However, the legislation that binds both the OEH and Council needs
review to allow for a high level of consideration of the impact of flying fox
camps on residents in circumstances such as we have in Lorn,’ he said.