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Please note this survey ended on September 18, 2015. As a result, the website is no longer collecting submissions and is for demonstration purposes only.

Eurobodalla Shire Council has employed a contractor, Eco Logical Australia, to prepare a Flying-fox Camp Management Plan for the Water Gardens in Batemans Bay. The plan must take into account the impact of the camp on local communities.

This survey assisted us to understand the needs and opinions of the community in relation to managing the Water Gardens flying-fox camp. The answers and options provided and recommended over the four steps are being considered by Eurobodalla Shire Council in their development of the plan.

If you wish to find out more about the camp management plan for the Water Gardens or Flying-foxes go to Eurobodalla Council website. You are also welcome to continue with this survey as it will provide you with a lot of information about considerations and options for management of flying-foxes in the Water Gardens.
Questions 
On the large orange circle to the right please select;
How important is it to you that the flying-fox camp management option
  1. Reduces the noise and odour impacting nearby residents and businesses?
  2. Reduces the impact of the excrement on the property of nearby residents and businesses from flying-foxes leaving and returning to the camp?
  3. Does not move the flying-fox camp to sites near other residents or businesses?
  4. Ensures the risk of transmission of diseases associated with flying-foxes stays low?
  5. Has a low financial cost to residents and businesses near the flying-fox camp?
  6. Has a low financial cost to Council ratepayers?
  7. Can be implemented quickly?
  8. Provides a long term solution?
  9. Does not disrupt residents and businesses during implementation?
  10. Does not harm the flying-foxes?
  11. Does not degrade the natural values of the site?
  12. Does not have a negative impact on how the site looks or the recreational opportunities at the site?

Water Gardens flying-fox camp

The Water Gardens Flying-Fox camp is located in Batemans Bay and covers approximately 9.85 hectares of which 60% is managed by Council and the remaining 40% is in private ownership.

The proximity of the flying-fox camp to residents and businesses in the Batemans Bay area has resulted in complaints about the noise associated with movement of the flying-foxes particularly on their leaving at sunset and returning to the camp around dawn. They have also caused noise and movement disturbances during the day and the odour released by roosting animals and the mess created by their excrement impacts heavily on nearby residents. In addition there are concerns about the potential health risks and the loss of pleasant lifestyle routines within nearby properties and in the Water Gardens.

The predominant flying-fox species using the Water Gardens camp is the grey-headed flying-fox. All flying-foxes are highly mobile species and they move about the landscape in response to food resources such as flowering native plants, and seasonal conditions. They live in the wetter coastal regions of Australia and it appears that flying-foxes are increasingly roosting in urban areas due to reduced food and roosting habitat.

The number of flying-foxes in the Water Gardens camp and the length of time they occupy the camp is highly variable. The pattern has been that the flying-foxes tend to move south and occupy the camp in the spring and summer months and move further north in the cooler months.

In the Eurobodalla council area there are also flying-fox camps located at South Head, Moruya and the Ringlands Estate Narooma. Catalina has occasionally supported a camp that may be an overflow from the Water Gardens. In the Shoalhaven near Batemans Bay there is a regular camp at Cockwhy Creek.

Camp management options

The flying-fox camp management options we explore for the Water Gardens are;
You can also suggest alternatives in Step 4 before you press submit.

The decision support system and where it fits in the flying-fox camp management process

Flying-fox engage is an engagement decision support system developed by Dr Ray Laine. The intention of the system is to provide a mechanism for stakeholders (community members, councillors, developers, planners, engineers, wildlife ecologists etc.) to learn about, rank and make informed decisions about management options for flying-fox camps.

How does the system work:
Experts in flying-fox management produce a list of options that may be suitable for the site.

For the Water Gardens Flying-fox Camp, the Eurobodalla Flying-fox Steering Committee, with input from various experts, has assigned justifiable and consistent scores to camp management options against social, safety, environmental and economic criterion.

You weight how important different criteria such as cost or impact on the Water Gardens are to you (Step 1).

Based on this input, the program determines which camp management options most closely meet the criteria you have decided is important. (Step 2). It is hoped that you investigate why certain options come out on top compared to others.

If you are not happy with the results, you can then re-rank the camp management options (hopefully informed about the options advantages and disadvantages) in Step 3.

You can then provide feedback or list other camp management options that might have been missed. There are also some extra questions you can answer if you wish about where you live in proximity to the Water Gardens, how the flying-foxes have impacted on you or if you know of other local flying-fox camps. Then press submit.

The information from all respondents is then collated and evaluated by an independent consultant and presented to the Eurobodalla Flying-fox Steering Committee for consideration.

A management plan, with a list of prioritised options is prepared by Eco Logical Australia, the independent consultant appointed to prepare the camp management plan.
This plan is publicly exhibited for 21 days allowing further public comment.
The camp management plan is finalised and considered by Council.
Council adopts recommendations associated with the management plan and prioritises actions. (Note that the actions that are identified may require approvals and funding to implement and adoption does not mean that they will be automatically implemented.)

The plan is submitted to the Office of Environment and Heritage for the necessary statutory approvals that may be required. ​​OEH will streamline licensing of flying-fox camp management actions when a camp management plan is prepared in accordance with the template available on the OEH website. The Water Gardens plan will be prepared in accordance with this template. Approvals will be issued for five years. This will avoid land managers having to repeatedly seek approval from the State Government for ongoing camp management actions. Camp management actions undertaken in or near camps of grey-headed flying-foxes may also require approval under Australian Government legislation. For more information on the Commonwealth approval regime visit their website
Depending on the circumstances and the nature of the actions, additional approvals, permits or consents may be required under other NSW legislation to carry out actions identified in a camp management plan.
Council will incorporate the actions identified in the plan into their forward planning and identify or seek funding to carry out the actions.

Further information about the methodology behind the development of the engagement decision support system can be found in: Laine, R (2014) 'An engagement decision support model to assist the flood risk management cycle' University of Wollongong.

To view this research paper click: http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5262&context=theses

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