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14 May 2010
Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett has approved, with strict conditions, the relocation of protected grey-headed flying foxes at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney.
“After a thorough environmental assessment the relocation can go ahead and I am confident that there will be no unacceptable impacts on protected grey-headed flying foxes,” Mr Garrett said.
“I have imposed strict conditions to ensure the dispersal happens in a way that minimises impacts.
“The dispersal activity must happen within a limited timeframe to avoid disrupting the camp during the sensitive breeding and roosting season.
“An independent observer group and panel with expertise in animal biology and grey-headed flying foxes must oversee all aspects of the operation, and report back to my department.
“The Botanic Gardens Trust will be responsible and accountable for all aspects of the relocation. This includes ensuring the colony relocates to an appropriate site.
“Similarly, the trust is responsible and must be accountable for any safety risks associated with this operation and must conduct a public health risk analysis before the dispersal action can proceed.
“The grey-headed flying foxes are a threatened species protected under both state and national environment law. They play a crucial role in pollination and seed dispersal in our native forests. Protecting this species is therefore very important to our biodiversity,” Mr Garrett said.
Details of the approval decision and conditions can be found at www.environment.gov.au