Doug Parkinson?s property backs on to Rotary Park in Lismore, which is now home to a colony of about 70,000 flying foxes.
Doug Parkinson?s property backs on to Rotary Park in Lismore, which is now home to a colony of about 70,000 flying foxes.

Residents driven batty by noisy neighbours

By HELEN JACK

THERE'S no denying the impact a flying fox colony in Lismore's Rotary Park has made on Doug Parkinson.

"I get no life," said Doug, whose home backs on to the park.

"The bats roost in trees overhanging my back fence. I have to hose down the back steps every day because of the bat droppings everywhere.

"And in the evening the number of bats that fly out of here is amazing ? the noise they make verges on noise pollution.

"My daughter and grandson don't come here as much as they used to because the smell takes their breath away."

Residents in the area live with the constant noise, excrement, vomit and smell the flying foxes make since an estimated 70,000 of them started roosting in park in September 2005.

Roofs, walls, pavements and anything left outside is spattered with droppings, forcing residents to stay indoors, before getting out the buckets and mops each day to clean the outside of their homes.

In a bid to get the colony to return to its previous hang-out in Currie Park, the Lismore City Council resolved at its Tuesday night meeting to commit $20,000 to rehabilitate Currie Park, build bat roosts and plant trees.

It is hoped the bats will then move of their own accord.

WIRES Northern Rivers representative Lib Ruytenberg said at the meeting that relocating bats had proven unsuccessful in other parts of Australia.

"In Melbourne it has cost $3 million so far, and in Maclean after seven years of attempts to move the bats there they are still trying to go back to their original home," she said.

Ms Ruytenberg said the process of dislodging a colony of bats was fraught with danger because where they would roost next could not be predicted.

Cr Vanessa Ekins said it made more sense to spend money on making Currie Park habitable for the bats and in that way entice them to leave Rotary Park.

Council also resolved to submit relocation applications to the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation and Federal Department of Environment and Heritage, pursue community grants with WIRES and Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers to further fund rehabilitation work at Currie Park, and to embark on a community education program about flying foxes.By HELEN JACK

helen.jack@northernstar.com.au

THERE'S no denying the impact a flying fox colony in Lismore's Rotary Park has made on Doug Parkinson.

"I get no life," said Doug, whose home backs on to the park.

"The bats roost in trees overhanging my back fence. I have to hose down the back steps every day because of the bat droppings everywhere.

"And in the evening the number of bats that fly out of here is amazing ? the noise they make verges on noise pollution.

"My daughter and grandson don't come here as much as they used to because the smell takes their breath away."

Residents in the area live with the constant noise, excrement, vomit and smell the flying foxes make since an estimated 70,000 of them started roosting in park in September 2005.

Roofs, walls, pavements and anything left outside is spattered with droppings, forcing residents to stay indoors, before getting out the buckets and mops each day to clean the outside of their homes.

In a bid to get the colony to return to its previous hang-out in Currie Park, the Lismore City Council resolved at its Tuesday night meeting to commit $20,000 to rehabilitate Currie Park, build bat roosts and plant trees.

It is hoped the bats will then move of their own accord.

WIRES Northern Rivers representative Lib Ruytenberg said at the meeting that relocating bats had proven unsuccessful in other parts of Australia.

"In Melbourne it has cost $3 million so far, and in Maclean after seven years of attempts to move the bats there they are still trying to go back to their original home," she said.

Ms Ruytenberg said the process of dislodging a colony of bats was fraught with danger because where they would roost next could not be predicted.

Cr Vanessa Ekins said it made more sense to spend money on making Currie Park habitable for the bats and in that way entice them to leave Rotary Park.

Council also resolved to submit relocation applications to the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation and Federal Department of Environment and Heritage, pursue community grants with WIRES and Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers to further fund rehabilitation work at Currie Park, and to embark on a community education program about flying foxes.



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