Emergency Intervention Needed for Wildlife Hospital

Published 21 July 2023

Mayor Flannery with Koala.jpg

True to Moreton Bay’s mantra of “Going Green as we Grow’, Council has allocated a $3 million parcel of land in Dakabin for the construction of a wildlife hospital in Moreton Bay to provide critical care for native animals and guard against the impacts of human population growth.

Moreton Bay Wildlife Hospital Foundation has already secured $1.5 million for the facility’s construction, and they’ve completed a business case for the much needed facility which has been submitted to the State Government.  

Currently there's no dedicated wildlife hospital between the RSPCA facility at Wacol and Australia Zoo at Beerwah, meaning wildlife can travel up to two hours to receive emergency care.

Mayor Peter Flannery said the worst thing about this sad fact is that Moreton Bay is the top source of admissions of injured koalas to both RSPCA Wacol and Australia Zoo.

“Council is as serious about providing housing and infrastructure to accommodate a booming human population, as we are about the need to support our wildlife and wildlife carers,” Mayor Flannery said.

“We all have an obligation to protect native animals, and this shows we’re serious about our role as caretakers for this beautiful part of the world. 

“So I think the state’s koala habitat mapping is a good start, but what’s the point of protecting eucalyptus trees if the state government isn’t also providing ongoing funding to support wildlife rescuers and carers to give these animals a fighting chance at survival when they’re injured or sick? 

“This is one of those times politicians need to ditch the rhetoric and take some action, don’t talk to us about the importance of biodiversity and Queensland’s wonderful natural assets, without putting some money into protecting Moreton Bay’s natural assets so our kids’ kids can enjoy them the way we did.

“Incredibly, thanks to the hard work of the Moreton Bay Wildlife Hospital Foundation, we’re actually seeing the community sector showing the leadership that the State and Federal Governments lack when it comes to funding. They’ve already secured $1.5 million in private funding.

“This facility will need serious investment from the State and Federal Governments, and as a first step we need the State Government to include this facility in SEQ’s Wildlife Hospital Network and provide at least $1 million per annum in operational funding. That’s the same as the State currently provides to other facilities.

“Building a wildlife hospital here in Moreton Bay will increase survival rates for native fauna by reducing travel times for injured animals, it would also take pressure off carers and rescuers who are already stretched by rising fuel and animal food costs.

“This all has a significant personal impact on rescuers and carers and their mental health.”

A board representative from the Moreton Bay Wildlife Hospital, Christine West, said the wildlife hospital is an important step towards providing essential care and rehabilitation for injured wildlife in the region.

“Last year our group of dedicated volunteers established the ‘Moreton Bay Wildlife Hospital Foundation’ as a community-driven initiative, to raise the required funds,” she said.

"Council providing the land for a wildlife hospital gives us the certainty we need to make this dream a reality, as we continue fundraising to build this critical facility in Moreton Bay.

“There are over 60 rare or threatened species living in this area, including endangered koalas, and these funds will ensure that Moreton Bay’s fauna get the care they deserve.

“We remain committed to expanding our efforts and working together with all levels of government to ensure a brighter future for our wildlife.

“The Moreton Bay Wildlife Hospital isn’t the only answer, but it’s a step in the right direction towards better outcomes for the wildlife that call our region home.”

Council is committed to protecting local wildlife and conserving the environment through a number of initiatives, including our Land Buyback for Environmental Purposes Program, which has secured more than 103 hectares of ecologically important land since 2020. 

This is in addition to council’s goal of preserving 75% of Moreton Bay’s land mass as greenspace to protect it from development. Which will make Moreton Bay the lungs of South East Queensland, and create an environmental break between the urban sprawl in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

For more information on the wildlife hospital campaign click here.