Flying-Fox Roost Management – Local Government Grants Program
The Queensland Government recognises the need for flying foxes to be managed in a way that both addresses community expectations around public amenity, and the long-term conservation of these important protected species.
The Flying-Fox Roost Management Local Government Grants Program will enhance the capacity of local governments to deal with problem urban flying-fox roosts and to develop and implement comprehensive long-term roost management plans.
The Department of Environment and Science will deliver $2 million in grant funding over the next four years (2021–2024) to assist local governments in Queensland to mitigate the impacts of flying-fox roosts on their communities and to better support residents and businesses to co-exist with flying-foxes.
Since 2013, local governments in Queensland have had an 'as-of-right' authority that enables them to actively manage flying-fox roosts in specified urban areas within their Local Government Areas (LGAs), provided they comply with a Code of Practice under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NC Act). This has allowed local governments to make roost management decisions that best meet the needs and expectations of their communities, in a timely manner, without needing a permit from the Department of Environment and Science.
The funding is being delivered through six competitive rounds over four financial years, beginning in 2020–2021, enabling councils the opportunity to apply for grant funding twice per year over that period. All projects will be approximately 50% co-funded by the local government (including in-kind contributions), although the exact contributions may vary in some cases, depending on the financial capability of the local government to contribute funds.
As different councils are at different stages of the flying-fox roost management process the grants program provides funding through three complementary streams.
- Stream 1: Immediate/high-priority actions—grants to assist councils to carry out immediate high-priority works while longer-term arrangements are developed.
- Stream 2: Development of roost management plans—grants to assist councils to develop long-term roost management plans for their Local Government Areas (LGAs). Management plans will address particular problem roosts and provide a holistic guide to adaptive management options for roosts over the entire LGA.
- Stream 3: Implementation of roost management plans—grants to assist councils to implement roost management actions (identified within their management plans) to mitigate the impacts of flying fox roosts and encourage their communities to co-exist with flying-foxes.
Successful Round 1 Recipients
Successful Round 1 applicants under Round 1 of the program were announced on 27 July 2021. In all 16 applications from 12 local governments, attracting a total of more than $572,000 in funding, were successful, as follows:
- Gympie Regional Council – $20,507 to install a canopy sprinkler system and create buffer zones to protect flying-foxes and offset impacts on residents at an emerging roost at Commissioners Gully.
- Gympie Regional Council – $27,000 to manage weeds (particularly the invasive cat’s claw creeper) at an abandoned roost site at Widgee Crossing, with the objective of attracting flying-foxes back to this site.
- Moreton Bay Regional Council – $60,330 to install interpretative signage and a cantilevered roof over a pedestrian path that is beneath a flying-fox roost at Shirley Creek, Bongaree.
- Moreton Bay Regional Council – $40,680 to relocate an existing footpath and park furniture away from a flying-fox roost and to install associated interpretative signage at Sweeny Reserve, Petrie.
- Brisbane City Council – $37,500 to develop a management plan for six permanent flying-fox roosts in Brisbane to ensure the animals’ ongoing protection while managing their impacts on the community.
- Logan City Council – $20,000 to develop flying-fox roost management plans for two high-conflict urban roost sites at Regents Park and Mount Warren Oval Park.
- Lockyer Valley Regional Council – $30,250 to develop a long-term, region-wide flying-fox management plan for roosts within the Lockyer Valley.
- Noosa Shire Council – $24,000 to develop roost management plans for roost sites at Kin Kin and Wallace Park, Noosaville.
- Redland City Council – $63,750 to develop a city-wide roost management plan setting out an ecologically sustainable approach to flying-fox management, while managing risks and amenity impacts for Redland residents.
- Redland City Council – $20,461 to deliver a targeted education and assistance program for residents at Lotus Close, Thornlands, who are impacted by a nearby flying-fox roost.
- Rockhampton Regional Council – $23,000 to develop a long-term management plan for flying-foxes in the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens and other roost sites in the region.
- Southern Downs Regional Council – $20,000 to develop a long-term flying-fox roost management plan which balances community concerns with flying-fox management and conservation, including a targeted community engagement strategy.
- Sunshine Coast Regional Council – $29,879 to evaluate council’s current Regional Flying-Fox Management Plan to determine how the plan and council’s flying-fox management program is achieving its conservation outcomes.
- Sunshine Coast Regional Council – $40,000 to undertake a micro-grants program for residents impacted by flying-fox roosts, offering them the opportunity to purchase products or to make improvements to their properties to reduce the long-term impacts from flying-foxes.
- Hinchinbrook Shire Council – $55,000 to undertake alternative management approaches, including sprinkler trials and extensive vegetation modification, to encourage flying-foxes to relocate away from historical roost sites in Ingham to alternative roost sites outside the immediate town area.
- Townsville City Council – $60,000 to install canopy sprinklers in flying-fox roost areas at Dan Gleeson Botanic Gardens to encourage the animals to move to a roost at the rear of the gardens, reducing impacts on playgrounds and multiple neighbouring properties.
Applications for Round 2 of the Flying-Fox Roost Management Local Government Grants Program will open in late August 2021. For more information, Grants Program Guidelines, and information on how to apply, visit the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Grants to Local Government page.
The Department of Environment and Science is working closely with the Local Government Association of Queensland in administering the grants program, to ensure that grant funds are targeted to the areas of greatest need and will provide the maximum long-term benefits for flying-fox roost management in council LGAs.