Mullumbimby has bats, lots of them.
And they are starting to become an issue for residents around Palm Avenue and other streets.
If you look to your left while crossing Federation Bridge over the Brunswick River on the way to Main Arm and Coolamon Scenic Drive, you will spot hundreds clinging to the trees.
Mullum resident Lisa Sandstrom, representing the Bat Colony Resident Action Group, says increased numbers of flying foxes in recent years were a result of a relocated colony from QLD, as well as a local relocation from an Ocean Shores colony.
‘There are at least 5,000, possibly many, many more,’ she says, ‘and my neighbours are living with bats a few metres their bedroom,’ she said.
‘This is quite a sensitive environmental issue and we need to be clear that we are not requesting any harm to the colony by relocation or dispersal; we are essentially asking for a long- and short-term Vegetation Management Plan.
‘A buffer zone created around residents’ homes and and a long-term vegetation management plan could create an area of suitable habitat to attract the colony to the outskirts of town.’
She says, ‘The bats are an issue not just for residents around Palm Avenue, but for Coolamon Scenic Drive, Pine Avenue, Garden Avenue and Chinbible Creek residents too.
‘The list goes on.’
And at last week’s Council meeting, Cr Duncan Dey was successful in gaining fellow councillor support to spend $20,000 on preparing a ‘Plan(s) of Management for bat colony(s)’ within Council’s Operational Plan and Statement of Revenue Policy.
All were in favour except Cr Chris Cubis.