Bat out of hell 2: residents can’t sleep because of the noise

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The intense smell is the first thing you notice from the other side of the creek behind Myee Road, Macquarie Fields where an estimated 20,000 grey headed flying fox have made their home in the past 10 years.

Jim Bucknall, the resident who has been most vocal in calling for help from Campbelltown Council in the past few years, has offered to take the South West Voice in Macarthur for a tour of the bat colony.

After the smell, the most impressive thing is the sight of so many bats – to give them their ordinary name – in such a small area.

Just about every tree and large bush on the eastern side of the creek is awash with bats – tens, hundreds and thousands of them.

“So, the bat colony is basically between the reserve, at the end of Myee Road, and back up to about number 42 Myee Road,’’ Jim Bucknall tells me as he knocks on doors and other residents join us on this unpleasant fact finding mission.

Just imagine if that was you living there – 20,000 bats across 50 metres or so and just metres away from the Myee Road homes affected.

It is certainly much worse than I had anticipated, having been under the impression the colony was spread across a larger area.

And it is precisely because they are so concentrated that their impact – the smell, the noise and droppings – is massive on those poor residents who happen to live between 56 and 42 Myee Road.

“We can’t sleep some nights when the bats take off in flight, the noise is just unbearable,’’ says one resident.

“The smell gets really bad,’’ says another.

The creek behind Myee Road and top, some of the thousands of bats from the grey headed flying fox colony.

The residents are not able to agree if the creek behind their homes – and the home of the bats – is named Redfern Creek or Bunbury Curran Creek.

Council reports refer to it as Redfern Creek, and it’s probably a tributary to the much larger waterway of Bunbury Curran.

But one thing the residents agree on is that Campbelltown Council needs to do a lot more to help them sleep at night, for starters.

It is worth pointing out that the grey headed flying fox are a protected species, something the residents readily concede.

“We understand that, but what we need is for council to clean up the creek, get rid of the weeds and the undergrowth,’’ says Mr Bucknall.

“On top of the bats, there are rats and snakes in the creek, which is another issue for the residents.’’

Campbelltown Council has done some work on the creek, but the residents believe it was at the wrong end, near Bingarra Road, which runs behind the eastern side of the creek.

“It is here in Myee Road where they need to come and clean up the creek, and hopefully that will reduce the bat numbers,’’ says Mr Bucknall.

“What we’d like is action that leads to less noise and smell so we can enjoy our lives just like everyone else.’’

The residents plan to meet this week and write a letter to Campbelltown Council, inviting the mayor and the councillors to go and see for themselves how bad the bat situation is in Myee Road.

3 thoughts on “Bat out of hell 2: residents can’t sleep because of the noise”

  1. I fail to understand what has happened to balanced journalism.. Bats are not only protected, they are alao disappearing at the speed of lighting as humans cut down more and more of their habitat. The bats lived in that area before humans. They are vital for the survival of the human race, as they are pollinators. They need certain habitat to survive. Now that the human residents have cut down most of the bats” habitat to build their houses, where would they like for these bats to go then? It’s like buying a house next to a forest and then want the forest cut down, because they are scared of wildfires or because there are snakes and birds and possums. Go move to the CBD if you have a problem. The bats were there first!

  2. There are so many reserves and parks in Campbelltown, some with bats and some with none, but most are filled with rubbish, old trolleys and fallen trees. I have seen foxes in Myee Rd also.
    They need to do an audit of all the reserves and commence work!

    Perhaps our rates will have to increase?

  3. This article I agree with somewhat more than the other one. I am affected as much as these residents, yet do not complain. I do however agree that the council needs to do much more for the colony. The small amount of regeneration done near the road is woeful and not near the colony. They have planted some trees in Milton park but so much more needs to done including weed removal.


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