Funding appeal for "crucial" hospital

Published 5:00pm 13 December 2023

Funding appeal for "crucial" hospital
Words by Nick Crockford

An urgent appeal has been made to State and Federal Governments for help to fund the region’s first wildlife hospital.

Mayor Peter Flannery says financial support from the top two tiers of government is needed turn this “crucial initiative” into reality.

Moreton Bay City Council has already allocated a $3 million parcel of land at Dakabin for a dedicated care facility for injured wildlife.

Council has also allocated funds for a masterplan and planning assessments at the 420 Old Gympie Road site – the former North Pine playing fields.

The facility would plug a gap in South-East Queensland’s wildlife hospital network which sees local rescuers travelling up to two hours for specialist animal care.

“Thanks to the hard work of the Moreton Bay Wildlife Hospital Foundation, we’re seeing the community sector showing the leadership that the State and Federal Governments lack when it comes to providing funding,” the Mayor said.

The Foundation is raising money for the build and is committed to fundraising for operational costs when the hospital is open.

“The Foundation submitted a business case to the Queensland Government in July and Council sought the inclusion of this facility in SEQ’s Wildlife Hospital Network, with the provision of at least $1 million per annum in operational funding,” the Mayor said.

“That’s the same as the State Government currently provides to other similar facilities so we’re just calling for our fair share.”

Moreton Bay’s injured koalas top admissions at Australia Zoo and RSPCA Wacol, but that’s set to worsen with RSPCA moving further south to Capalaba due to a $5 million Australian Government grant.

“It’s disappointing after taking our concerns to Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek, the Federal Government is still showing no sign of supporting the Moreton Bay facility through its Saving Koalas Fund,” the Mayor said.

“A local facility will also take the pressure off our dedicated volunteer wildlife carers who are already stretched by rising fuel and food costs.”

Moreton Bay Wildlife Hospital Board’s Christine West said allocating land showed a “collective responsibility for our native animals”.

“It’s through collaborative efforts between the community and government, that we can enhance outcomes for our injured and sick wildlife,” she said.

“There is a great need for a wildlife hospital in Moreton Bay and the situation is urgent.”

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