Cullendulla virtual fence a state first

Published: 20 October 2022

In a first for NSW, Eurobodalla Council will trial a virtual fencing system on Cullendulla Drive and Blairs Road at Long Beach.

The virtual fence uses non-invasive audio and visual alerts to deter animals from crossing the road with the twin goals of improving road safety and reducing animal road-kill. Each fence consists of devices placed at 25-metre intervals that are triggered in sequence by headlights as the vehicle moves along the road, so forming a virtual fence.

Approximately 900 metres of virtual fence has been installed along Cullendulla Drive (37 devices) and 200 metres along Blairs Road – both known roadkill hotspots. Eurobodalla Council’s natural resources supervisor Courtney Fink-Downes said the technology was a win-win option should it prove successful.

“The virtual fence is designed to reduce wildlife death and injuries, and reduce vehicle damage and potential injuries or deaths to occupants,” Ms Fink-Downes said.

“The system we are using has been extensively tested in Tasmania and researchers found a total roadkill reduction of 50 per cent, an excellent outcome for relatively low-cost low-maintenance technology. The question we want answered is will it work that well here?

“These test hotspots were determined in collaboration with native animal rescue group WIRES and the funding provided by Coastwatchers. It really is a huge community effort.”

The trial will run for a year.

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