Bat out of hell 2: some progress but residents want more

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Macquarie Fields residents who live next to a giant 20,000 bat colony say they are glad to see Campbelltown Council has finally done some cleaning up work in the area.

But Jim Bucknall, the spokesman for the long suffering residents, says a lot more needs to be done to improve the situation.

“It’s been along fight since 2018 but the council have finally started cleaning out Redfern Creek,’’ he said.

“The council have cleared near Saywell Road where the vegetation is thin.

“They also cleared some bamboo on the Bingara Road side of the creek in early August, but no more work has been done since then,’’ Mr Bucknall told the South West Voice.

The clean up of the creek is vital and needs to be done while the bats are away at present, but Mr Bucknall doesn’t hold much hope.

“I have emailed the acting council director twice regarding the clean up of Redfern Creek and received a response to the first email explaining a few issues,’’ he said.

“I then emailed him back with questions wanting to know when work would commence again on Redfern Creek, especially on 56/58 Myee Road.

“I have not received any answers to the questions asked, or any email back.

“Residents are still waiting for council to recommence work on clearing before the bats return in large numbers.

“At the moment the bats numbers are low and this makes it an ideal time to clear 56/58 Myee Road as it will not have a great impact on the bats.

“But we’re still waiting,’’ Mr Bucknall said.

The bats, more formally known as Grey Headed Flying Fox, formed a colony adjacent to Myee Road at Macquarie Fields a few years ago and life has become almost impossible for the residents.

With an estimated 20,000 bats, the noise and smell are almost impossible to live with at times.

Mr Bucknall has taken videos of the bats in flight en mass and it is quite a sight (pictured below).

Grey Headed Flying Fox are a protected species, which has made council’s task quite difficult.

Apart from anything else you can’t just chase 20,000 bats away, and even if you could they would then become someone else’s problem.

The recent works are part of key actions identified in council’s Grey Headed Flying Fox camp management plan.

This includes careful machine removal of exotic plant species to make way for replanting of local tree and shrub species.

Council says these works will improve the condition of vegetation in the reserve and help to manage the impacts of the local Grey Headed Flying Fox colony on the community and environment.

Mr Bucknall and his fellow residents, while they accept the difficulty in coming up with a practical solution, would like the plan implemented as soon as possible.

“It’s been a long fight of frustration and disappointment from the residents and hasn’t ended yet,’’ Mr Bucknall said.

1 thought on “Bat out of hell 2: some progress but residents want more”

  1. I am a resident. Not ‘long suffering’ as suggested. I have no problem with the bats but rather the council. It will be quite hot soon and the optimal time for planting has already passed. Will the plants get looked after? Watered? They need the vegetation now not later.


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