Reduction of Electrocution Trouble Spots - 2004 (ongoing project)
Flying-foxes have a wingspan up to 1.2m and can easily be electrocuted on powerlines, interrupting services to residents and causing horrific death to the animal.
Since 2004, Bat Rescue has collaborated with Energex to compile a database of trouble spots for rectification in the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast Regions to reduce these incidences. Information provided to Energex by Bat Rescue has also prompted a number of bundling and rectification works to be undertaken in both areas. This not only reduces the hazard for bats but also the inconvenience and disruption to the community when power outages occur as a result of a powerline strike. Energex have also expressed an interest in trialling and manufacturing devices that could deter Flying-foxes from landing on powerlines.
In March 2007 Bat Rescue's Gold Coast branch and Energex were joint recipients of a Wildlife Preservation Society Award for their collaboration to reduce bat electrocution fatalities.
Major works undertaken on the Gold Coast involved replacing low voltage 3-phase cables and re-wiring all roadside 3-phase-and-neutral spans across a busy road in Broadbeach. The trial of this particular cable is an Australia-first and Energex will be closely monitoring the performance to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of this solution.