Home' Yarram Standard : January 25th 2017 Contents “THE YARRAM STANDARD” Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - PAGE 15
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WOODSIDE and Devon North Prima-
ry Schools have been identified among
200 government schools in high risk ar-
eas of bush fires and will benefit from a
$10m audit and upgrade bushfire shel-
The two local schools will be have their audits
completed in June and work on upgrades required
will commence immediately.
51 recognised schools will have their works
completed by the start of term one. 40 schools will
be audited next month.
Fire shelter areas at 200 government schools in
high-risk areas around the state will be upgraded
under the program, including vegetation removal,
gutter cleaning, and the installation of gutter guards,
door and window fire shutters, water tanks and
Bushfire preparation audits have already been
completed at 51 high-priority schools and work is
underway to make sure they are bushfire ready for
the first day of term one, 2017.
Forty more schools will have their shelter areas
audited next month, with the final 109 school audits
completed by June.
School shelters are being audited and upgraded
based on risk, with work completed first at higher-
Emergency Management Commissioner Craig
Lapsley has welcomed the practical measures to en-
sure child safety.
“Children are in school at a critical time of the
year when it comes to fire risk in Victoria, and these
very practical measures have the potential to protect
children when they need it most,” Mr Lapsley said
These bushfire safety upgrades, combined with
the newly funded school emergency SMS service
and existing school emergency plans like closing
on Code Red days and off-site evacuation protocols,
mean students in Victoria’s high bushfire risk areas
are safer at school.
There are now 42 new government schools in
the construction pipeline and more than 1000 school
building projects going
GREY Hooded Flying Foxes have
formed a camp along the Bruthen Creek
Locals have reported seeing the thousands of fly-
ing foxes flying out at nightfall over the past few
This follows reports at the end of 2016 of colo-
nies in the Woodside Beach and Port Albert area
decimating the local’s fruit trees.
Ron Incoll, Regional Manager Environment and
Natural Resources, was looking into the recently re-
“We have had reports of camps in the area at
various times but have been unable to establish the
exact location of the camp,” Mr Incoll said.
“They pose a very low risk of disease to people,
however they have been known to carry diseases such
as the Hendra virus which affects horses,” he said.
Local Woodside resident Ms Elizabeth Bruns
raised the alarm about the invasion of bats in the
area last week.
Ms Bruns owns horses and was worried about
the disease risk these bats may pose to horse owners.
Mr Incoll said that risk would be minimal but would
contact Ms Bruns to find out more about the camp.
The Grey Hooded Flying Foxes can grow to be
very large with a wing span of up to one metre.
They are found up along the east coast and are
very mobile, they can fly up to 50 kms in a night.
This year has been an unusual year with reports
of colonies in the Traralgon area which is most un-
usual. They move to find food, flowers and nectar,
some nectar sources are down a bit so they are on the
move sourcing food.
They can stay in one camp for a few days or a
few weeks depending on the food source.
Flying foxes are a protected species. “They are
an interesting species, they are very important to our
eco system, spreading seeds.
Advice to locals who are worried about the fly-
ing foxes, they should not be disturbed or handled, if
they have fruit trees they can cover them with wildlife
nets, they will move on quickly.
Mr Incoll said they would be investigating the
camp at Woodside.
Curious: Marg O’Toole shares her knowledge of sea life in
Corner Inlet with Rick Cushion from Alexandra who was vis-
iting Port Albert last Friday and called into the Coast Care
Secrets of the Sea exhibition on the foreshore at Port Albert.
Flying: thousands of Grey Hooded Flying Foxes take flight at nightfall to find food over
the Woodside area.
Bats galore at Woodside
Camp: a Grey Hooded Flying Fox colony camp in the trees along the Bruthen Creek at
Woodside during the day.
Marine life: lessons on sea life were enjoyed on the foreshore at Port Albert by visitors
Callum and Katie McLeod of Krowera who learned about the secrets of the sea from Coast
Care’s Marine and Coastal Interpreting office Marg O’Toole at Port Albert last Friday.
Secrets of the sea
SECRETS of the Sea is
a free program delivered
by CoastCare Victoria
and Parks Victoria and
The program is designed to
encourage children and adults
to discover the secrets of rock
pools, beaches, estuaries and
mudflats while learning about
the diverse habitats and spe-
cies of Victoria’s coast.
Participants who attend
this year’s sessions at Port Al-
bert and McLoughlins Beach
last week enjoyed fossil sa-
faris, walking tours, coastal
crafts, kite making and play-
ing detective both on the
beach and in the bush. The
program included activities
for all ages and interests.
High risk bush fire schools identified
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