Hunter Councils Inc. was awarded a $100,000 NSW government grant for a flying fox community engagement program, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald, announced today.
The grant was awarded under the NSW Environmental Trust’s Environmental Education grants program.
Mr MacDonald said, “The project aims to bring awareness and management to encourage positive change in the community attitudes to flying foxes through a coordinated regional program of community education and engagement,” he said.
He said, “The grant will facilitate the development and implementation of a regional community awareness and engagement strategy, across 11 council areas, and will include a flying fox resource kit, staff training, rollout of a flying fox decision-support tool, and direct engagement and capacity building of affected residents and community groups.”
“I strongly urged the Minister to support Flying Fox management on a regional bases and this I what this grant achieves.
Environment Minister Mark Speakman said more than $1 million was awarded to 14 organisations under this year’s funding round.
“These education grants will help community groups, councils and other environmental organisations continue to educate their communities,” Mr Speakman said.
In responding to the announcement, the CEO of Hunter Councils, Roger Stephan, said, “the funding would enable the Councils of the Hunter Region to work collaboratively to develop and utilise resources that will both inform the community about the contribution flying foxes to our local environment and also provide useful tips on how communities can learn to live in harmony with these seasonal visitors.”
“The Environmental Education project will leverage heavily off work currently being undertaken by Councils and the office of Environment & heritage to develop Flying Fox Camp Management Plans and a Hunter Region Flying Fox Management Strategy,” he said.
“By supporting education programs and linked strategic approaches the State Government is helping to ensure an integrated and long term approach to the complex issue of flying fox management in our local communities.”
For more information visit: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/grants/envtrust.htm