FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR KOALAS ON THE SUNSHINE COAST
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and other Koala rescue and medical services in South East Queensland have received $1 million each in support funding as bushfires highlight the threats facing our native wildlife.
The Morrison Government has been working closely with Koala hospitals at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, Queensland RSPCA and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, providing $1 million in funding for each hospital, creating an important network of services to support Koala populations.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said that this funding is the first stage of a wider $6million commitment to Koalas in Northern NSW and South-east Queensland.
“On ground work is already underway with regional experts and local land care providers to identify, in the light of the fires in NSW and Queensland, the most effective ways to implement a further $3million funding package for on-ground works to protect and restore native Koala habitat.” Minister Ley said.
Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace welcomed the delivery of funding – a commitment from the 2019 election – which will increase the Hospital’s capacity to treat injured and sick koalas and participate in koala research projects with university partners.
“Our environment and our iconic native wildlife are at the very heart of the Sunshine Coast. We have a unique lifestyle in this region and it is built on the spectacular natural environment which surrounds us. As I said in my very first speech in Parliament, we have a responsibility to protect that environment for future generations. The Morrison Government is taking a lead with programs like this.” Mr Wallace said.
“Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital does incredible work, providing a real lifeline for local wildlife in need. This latest funding, alongside the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre the Government supported in 2018, will help the Wildlife Hospital to do even more in the years to come. I can’t wait to see the results in a healthy and happy Koala population in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and beyond.”
Director of Australia Zoo Wes Mannion said the funding will assist Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to provide life-saving care for koalas who are doing it tough given the ongoing destruction of habitat and a prolonged period of severe weather.
“Worryingly, we’ve seen a significant increase in admissions to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital compared to the same time last year. This funding will help save koalas in South East Queensland through improved infrastructure and ground-breaking research into this iconic Australian species.”
In addition to the $6 million in funding across Koala Hospitals and planned habitat restoration projects the Australian Government is supporting community efforts through the Communities Environment Program with several small scale Koala projects recently approved in both NSW and Qld.