LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin has asked for urgent NSW Government assistance with relocating a large bat colony which is making life unbearable for residents of Tenterfield's Millrace Hostel aged care facility and users of Millbrook Park.
Ms Saffin has written to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and his Environment Minister James Griffin seeking funding for Tenterfield Shire Council to investigate an approved dispersal plan or habitat modification for the Tenterfield colony, which now numbers tens of thousands of bats.
She has also asked Minister Griffin to send departmental officers to Tenterfield as soon as possible to practically assist Council officers on the ground.
Ms Saffin said she had requested State intervention following widespread and growing concerns for public health and safety.
"I've been contacted by Tenterfield Care Centre Limited Chair Greg Sauer (which manages Millrace), Tenterfield Shire Mayor Cr Bronwyn Petrie, CWA Tenterfield Evening Branch, Tenterfield Petanque Group and constituents, all wanting something to be done," Ms Saffin said.
"I acknowledge the complexities of Federal legislation which protects flying foxes as I had to deal with a similar issue in the town of Maclean when I was Federal Member for Page. There are no simple fixes.
"In 2016, then NSW Premier Mike Baird announced $2.5 million in funding to Eurobodalla Shire Council to go towards the relocation of a bat colony from Batemans Bay.
"A further $1million was pledged to manage other flying fox trouble spots around New South Wales. Tenterfield is now one of those trouble spots and urgent action is needed.
"I am particularly concerned for the residents of Millrace Hostel who have been advised not to go outdoors due to the health risk. This is no way for our seniors to spend their twilight years."
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