Some relief is getting closer for residents living near the Kooloonbung Creek flying fox colony.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has adopted the Kooloonbung Creek Flying Fox Camp Management Plan and acknowledged the public submissions and the contribution of a consultative committee.
The next milestone will come when the Office of Environment and Heritage formally endorses the plan after which actions outlined in the plan can begin.
The plan aims to manage community impacts and concerns associated with the camp, while conserving flying foxes and their habitat.
The plan's development followed residents' concerns.
Residential areas border the flying fox camp to the east, west and south.
Mayor Peta Pinson said council's adoption of the plan was a great step forward and receiving state government funding was also a big help.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams has announced $30,750 in state government funding to help manage the bat colony.
Cr Pinson said she appreciated the affected community's patience as the council worked through a very complex situation.
The council will annually report the plan's progress.
Deputy mayor Lisa Intemann encouraged the residents to keep in touch with the council.
A report to the June council meeting said staff would begin to implement the actions outlined in the camp management plan and included in the 2019/20 Operational Plan once the Office of Environment and Heritage formally endorsed the plan.
This will include a comprehensive education and awareness campaign, investigating a subsidy program to offset water and power use costs and the installation of canopy-mounted sprinklers to deter flying foxes from the edges of vegetation closest to houses, subject to licensing requirements.
The Kooloonbung Creek Flying Fox Camp Management Plan said flying foxes arrived there in the 1990s before which they lived 3.5 kilometres away at Sea Acres Nature Reserve.
The plan said camp numbers were usually below 20,000 with some influxes over 100,000 flying foxes in 2014 and 2016.
Nine management options, based around a risk approach, are outlined in the plan.
The management options are based on the potential health, safety, wellbeing and economic implications for the community; likelihood of management success; potential flying fox welfare and conservation impacts and cost of management, and who would contribute to these costs.
A report to the June council meeting said the options were intended primarily to provide relief for residents living in close proximity to the camp.
"Management options have been staged to prevent exacerbating issues associated with the camp whilst ensuring the welfare of flying foxes," the report said.
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