There may be fewer than 50 coastal emus in the Clarence and Richmond valleys, so it was good news when landholders at Taloumbi received a letter from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) about an initiative to keep the emus safer.
“Emus are seen regularly in this vicinity, frequently on and adjacent to the Brooms Head Road,” the letter states, “finding their way through fences and gates as they move across the landscape through various properties.
“If the birds experience difficulty in doing this, and remain on road corridors for long periods, this poses a danger to the birds and drivers.
“…DPIE, through the Saving our Species (SoS) program, has engaged a contractor to undertake trial modifications of boundary fences in key locations along the Brooms Head Road … with the full
cooperation of the landowner.
“The aim is to assist the emus to move more freely and reduce the risk of collisions.” An emu was killed in the vicinity earlier this year and, consequently, Clarence Valley Council (CVC) acted in conjunction with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) “to put in place strategies to reduce the risk of this tragic event occurring again”, according to a February 4 post on CVC’s facebook page.
One of the landholders, Barbara Linley, who is also the emu coordinator for the Lions Club of Clarence – Environmental, welcomed the news.
“Absolutely, it’s a step forward, it’s marvellous, it’s going to make it easier for the emus to get through the fence,” she said.
“This is the main area where they cross, between Grasstree Lane and Tailem Drive.
“With cars increasingly going backwards and forwards it was becoming a bit of a safety issue.
“It’ll be good for the emus and drivers.” Fencing work is due to commence “in the near future and the outcomes will be monitored and reported back to DPIE and SoS programs”; and “signage will be placed at the trial sites to inform the public and passing motorists”.