Council calls for community feedback on its flying fox plan

Residents are invited to have a say on how Dungog Shire Council plans to handle flying fox camps.

The council has created a flying fox management plan to reduce the community impacts of the nine camps dotted throughout the shire.

Council is particularly keen to hear from residents about the impact of the Clarence Town, Gresford and Dungog camps.

There is an online survey to complete where you can win one of three $100 vouchers just for sharing your thoughts.

Just leave your contact details - including your name and email address - as part of the online survey, which is contributing to the development of a Flying-fox Management Plan.

Council's Manager Environmental Services Paul Minett, said community feedback is essential to the creation of an effective management plan for the region.

"We understand that flying fox camps in residential areas can significantly impact local communities, and so community feedback will be crucial in ensuring the management plan is relevant, timely and appropriate in minimising these impacts," said Mr Minett.

"We're calling on all residents and other stakeholders to provide feedback via our online survey or by attending one of the community information sessions happening this month - the more feedback we have from a variety of perspectives, the more effective our management plan will be."

Tracks Environment and Planning Principal Consultant, Mark Manning said part of the community consultation process involves promoting understanding about the important ecological role flying foxes play in the survival of Australia's native forests.

"Dungog Shire has nine known flying fox camps, located on a mix of privately owned, council and state government lands, with each of these camps being regularly monitored through the National Flying Fox Monitoring Program," said Mr Manning.

"The 2019/2020 summer bushfires resulted in significant loss of habitat and food resources for flying foxes, which saw population numbers swell in several local camps, resulting in increased impacts for surrounding residents.

"Our aim is to create a management plan that will provide a framework to help reduce these impacts on Dungog Shire residents, while conserving these animals and supporting the pivotal role they play in sustaining Australia's fragile ecosystem."

The council has created a dedicated web page: dungog.nsw.gov.au/flying-foxes

This phase of the plan development follows a meeting of the newly-formed Flying-fox Advisory Committee.

Committee members represent a cross-section of expertise in relation to native fauna management, as well as individuals with an interest in Flying-fox camps and how they impact the various communities of Dungog Shire.