Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Federal Government approval to relocate flying-fox camp

Public Environment Report

The relocation of a camp of grey-headed flying-foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus) from the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney (EPBC 2008 4646)

Proponent: Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust

Public exhibition of final Public Environment Report

The following notice was published pursuant to Section 99 of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a significant cultural and botanical icon, with numerous historic and heritage listed specimens that are of enormous cultural, scientific, horticultural and educational value. It is also home to a camp of grey-headed flying-foxes which can number more than 22,000 at their seasonal peak. The roosting habit of the flying-foxes is causing serious damage to significant plantings - so far they have killed 28 mature trees, 30 palms and many understorey plants and more than 300 plants including trees are affected. In order to save the botanic collections and the heritage landscape, the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust is proposing to relocate the flying-fox camp to other camps in the Sydney metropolitan area, using methods adapted from the successful relocation of a camp of Grey-headed Flying-foxes from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.

The proposed action was determined to be a ‘controlled action’ under the EPBC Act. The controlling provision under the EPBC Act is:

  • Listed threatened species and communities (Sections 18 and 18A)

The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) assessed the project through a Public Environment Report (PER). The PER was available for public comment for 30 business days from 11 November 2010 until 23 December 2009; 282 public submissions were received. These submissions were addressed in the Summary Report. 

Final approval was received from DSEWPaC on 14 May 2010, one of the provisions was for an Expert Panel to be appointed by the Federal Government who would advise and oversee the relocation. On advice of the Expert Panel, the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust submitted several variation requests to the Commonwealth Government’s conditions.

One condition, deemed to be of a significant nature by the Commonwealth, was a variation to the noise disturbance methodology. This was to vary the noise disturbance from intermittently during the day to only before dawn and around sunset.

This variation was assessed through a 20-day public comment period from March to April, 2012. Final approval from the Commonwealth was given on the 11 May 2012, allowing the relocation to proceed between May and July 2012.

Final Public Environment Report documents

flying foxes - damage

>> Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about the proposed relocation

>> Click here to find out more about flying-foxes

>> Click here to download NSW Government documents

Click here to view Media releases Calendar.

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