Cessnock City Council has received $10,000 from the Office of Environment and Heritage to assist in the development of a flying fox camp management plan for East Cessnock.
The funding will also go towards education, awareness and community engagement as part of the plan development.
Council is working collaboratively with the Department of Crown Lands (as land manager) the Department of Education and the OEH.
Council can also apply for a share of the $1 million funding pool that was announced by the State Government last week.
The funding pool is for councils needing mitigation works to manage flying fox colonies.
The grant application process will open from June 16 and will be administered by Local Government NSW in association with the Office of Environment and Heritage.
Cessnock MP Clayton Barr urged the residents of East Cessnock to keep pushing hard for further assistance.
Mr Barr says the local residents should be proud of what their advocacy has achieved.
“This is a win for the residents of East Cessnock, who have kept talking about this problem, writing letters and generally hassling elected officials to get something done,” he said.
“I asked them to flood the Ministers’ desks with letters, and they did it.
“This funding is the result of their persistence, and I’m sure they won’t let the government off the hook now.”
Mr Barr says the plan funding is just the start of the process.
“If the government think they’ve silenced East Cessnock with this funding, they’re mistaken,” he said.
“Doing the plan is one thing, but the government will need to stump up again to make sure the plan can actually be implemented.”
The NSW Government announced last week that a pool of $1 million is open to councils to apply for mitigation works to manage flying fox colonies.
The East Cessnock bat colony, which is home to an estimated 30,000 flying foxes, was set ablaze last Thursday morning for the fourth time in 12 days.
The incidents prompted Cessnock councillor Bryce Gibson to call for legislation to be changed to allow quick bat dispersal.
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