Win for Bats in Melbourne's City of Yarra

Last night the City of Yarra, in Melbourne, voted in favour of Councillor (and FOBB) Bridgid O’Brien’s motion to support the installation of sprinklers in a section of the Yarra Bend Park colony and to end the use of unsafe netting in the municipality and to also support city wide tree planting options that will help the flying foxes find reliable food. While details of the sprinklers needs to be worked through this is indeed a real step forward for Victorian flying fox colonies. It is, I think, the first Australian City to become pro-active in seeking to protect its flying fox colony during heat waves, food shortages, and the daily curse that is deadly backyard fruit tree netting.

In accord with the Victorian State Government’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTA) Regulations 2019 (commencing Sept 1, 2021) installed netting will have apertures no greater than 5mm x 5mm fully stretched (Zip-on washing bags and fruit socks are the overwhelmingly preferred method of wildlife safe fruit protection and sharing going forward.)

 A huge vote of thanks to Bridgid and the City of Yarra for this outstanding outcome and real win for Australian flying foxes. I urge FOBBs and allies to replicate this at state and local government level across our big brown island – for all bat and bird kind.

Lawrence Pope

Coordinator : Victorian Advocates for Animals

President : FOBB – Friends of Bats and Bushcare Inc.

PO Box 377 North Carlton

Victoria 3054

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