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Just driven batty over visitor turn-off

A NOOSA resort near the Wallace Park flying fox colony has received more than 60 complaints from guests in the past two years.

One guest was so incensed by odour, which he believed to be a "gas leak", he posted a warning on social media not to stay in the resort, while others advised people not to visit the Noosa or Noosaville area "because of the bats".

These negative tourism impacts form part of the resort's body corporate committee submission to the council on its Your Say Noosa website as part of the flying fox management plan deliberations for Wallace Park.

"Sadly, over the last two years, we have had over 60 complaints from guests who were upset at the noise and offended by the smell," the submission said.

"One guest even went as far to say that he passed out from the 'gas leak'."

The submission reported that he advised others to stay away because of "the danger of gas".

"He is one of many that will not return to this region because of the smell," the council was told.

"We have also had complaints regarding the dung on cars. Even if we see it on a car in the morning and wash it off, there seems to be a reduction of paint colour underneath."

The submission said the problem had "a few mentions" on Trip Advisor and Booking.com.

"They recommend not coming to Noosa or Noosaville because of the bats," it said.

"Currently it is not affecting us in a big way. However, that may change as the problem becomes better known to visitors.

"I think that it would be sad to move them on. However, for the sake of 130 owners and their income here, I think that it may be warranted."

Another submission from a Wallace Park precinct family said even though their residence was 300m from the edge of the roost location, "we have had to deal with the stench".

The submission said at its worst, they resorted to keeping "all windows and doors closed at all times" as they contended with bat droppings on their deck and yard.

"Our residential area has many young families and young children, as we do, and we are also concerned about the health risks of having a bat colony so close to our neighbourhood."

The family "strongly" supports a suggested management plan, including such initiatives as the sprinkler system deterrent trial and trimming the canopy from the trees to make the area less attractive to bats.

Other recommendations include a 15m buffer zone around the perimeter of the colonised area and encouraging re-establishment of the colony to Goat Island.

Noosa Parks Association has given broad support for the proposed Wallace Park flying fox management plan, except a possible feasibility study on "wires/netting /flagging and other deterrents".

"Wire and netting will result in injury to flying foxes and as such, we cannot condone such a practice," NPA said.

- PETER GARDINER

Topics:  noosa council


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