FUNDING BOOST FOR SUNSHINE COAST WILDLIFE HOSPITAL

29th June 2021

The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital will receive a $3.25 million shot in the arm as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan, providing sick and injured wildlife with around the clock care and more jobs for wildlife carers.

Visiting the Sunshine Coast today, Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said additional funding would be provided in this year’s budget to help the not-for-profit hospital recruit more staff.

“The Palaszczuk Government is investing a record $1.4 billion to protect the environment and our native wildlife, and to create jobs as part of Queensland’s economic recovery plan,” Minister Scanlon said.

“Our wildlife hospitals weren’t immune from the impacts of COVID-19, with many of their revenue streams and donations impacted as businesses and communities felt the economic impacts of the pandemic.

“As our economy ramps up, this funding will enable our hardworking carers to also ramp up operations and have vets and nurses on-deck to respond to incidents around the clock.

Minister Scanlon said the important work carried out by the hospital ensured the survival and a return to the wild for thousands of sick and injured native animals every year.

“Their work adds to our government’s strong record on the environment including another $270 million over five years in this year’s budget for the Great Barrier Reef, our pioneering Land Restoration Fund and newly-announced $2 billion renewable energy fund.”

Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt said the environment and the native animals that call it home is a big part of the Sunshine Coast’s identity, and why so many families choose to live in the region.

“There are dozens of national parks and wildlife reserves in our community – including the 700-plus hectares we secured as part of the recent Bruce Highway upgrade – and they’re teeming with thousands of native mammals, reptiles and fish,” Mr Hunt said.

“Why is why this kind of support for our hospital network is so important. Having Australia Zoo’s team of experts on our doorstep means if our wildlife need help, they can get it.”

Member for Nicklin Rob Skelton said in addition to the $3.25 million over the next four years, the government would also commit to $1.5 million in ongoing funding per annum for the entire south east Queensland hospital network.

“These wildlife hospitals are vital to the ongoing care and rehabilitation of our sick and injured wildlife and by locking in even more funding into the future, it shows we are committed to supporting that ongoing work,” Mr Skelton said.