Bats  in the  Maclean High School carpark.
Bats in the Maclean High School carpark. Adam Hourigan

New plan to remove the Maclean bats

MACLEAN might be dealing with their flying fox problem for a while longer with Clarence Valley Council unlikely to be able to completely disperse the bats.

The Flying Fox Dispersal Committee met on October 30 and resolved to support the update of the Maclean Flying Fox Management Strategy with the view to implementing further buffer zones.

These zones will be adjacent to the Maclean gully and substation area and identify a new compensatory habitat.

The proposal is to 'nudge' the flying foxes away from the houses into the new habitat, despite no habitat being officially identified yet. That is likely to occur during the winter months because a licence may not be required.


Councillor Greg Clancy asked council how the new proposal differed from what the Flying Fox Working Group is already doing.

"The issue is at the moment the Maclean Flying Fox Management Strategy only had a buffer strip going up so far," Environment, Planning and Community director Des Schroder said.

"This proposal is to take it further up because the flying foxes have moved further up the gully. The proposal is to do more work in the upper areas because it's disturbing more houses further up now, so that plan needs to be amended.

"The other issue is finding more compensatory habitats with the idea of 'nudging', which is a movement away from the houses."

Mr Schroder was coy when Cr Clancy asked whether all the alternative habitat options had been exhausted.

"There is one site that could be a potentially available but we don't want to talk about those sites at the moment because it involves property owners," Mr Schroder said.

Councillors will consider the new proposal at the full council meeting on Tuesday.