Council calls for urgent funding support for crucial wildlife hospital
Published 05 December 2023
City of Moreton Bay is calling on the State and Federal governments to help deliver a much-needed wildlife hospital to cover the third largest council area in Australia.
Council recently voted to prioritise freehold land at Dakabin for a dedicated care facility for injured wildlife and has allocated funds to progress a masterplan and planning assessments at the 420 Old Gympie Road, Dakabin site.
Mayor Peter Flannery said the extensive gap in the South East Queensland (SEQ) wildlife hospital network forces local wildlife rescuers to travel up to two hours for urgent animal care.
“City of Moreton Bay has taken the lead on this crucial initiative and are now urgently appealing to the State and Federal Governments to contribute necessary financial support to bring this wildlife hospital to fruition,” Mayor Flannery said.
“Council has an ambitious target to preserve wildlife habitat and limit our urban footprint as the ‘lungs’ of South East Queensland.
“With a commitment to preserving 75% of Moreton Bay’s land mass as green space, we are ensuring that the development of housing and infrastructure to accommodate our booming population is properly balanced with the preservation of flora and fauna.
“Our city is managing the enormous pressure that comes with being one of the fastest growing local government areas in the country and it’s not acceptable to have the needs of our precious wildlife uncatered for in the process.
“Incredibly, 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 Foundation is hard at work raising money for the build and is also committed to fundraising for operational costs once the hospital is up and running.
“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.
“That’s the same as the State Government currently provides to other similar facilities so we’re just calling for our fair share.
"A commitment from the Queensland Government to build a wildlife hospital here in City of Moreton Bay will support out growing city and mean increased survival rates for native fauna.
“Moreton Bay’s injured koalas are the top source of admissions at both Australia Zoo and RSPCA Wacol facilities, but that’s set to worsen with RSPCA moving further south to Capalaba due to a $5 million Australian Government grant.
“It’s disappointing that 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.
“Our appeal to shore up faster access to care to increase the survival rates of injured wildlife and complement the existing network has fallen on deaf ears which is disheartening for already struggling wildlife carers.
“A local facility will also take the pressure off our dedicated volunteer wildlife carers who are already stretched by rising fuel and food costs.
“This project could emerge as a great example of all three levels of government working together, to deliver for the human and wildlife population that calls Moreton Bay home, so let’s make it happen!”
Moreton Bay Wildlife Hospital Board’s Christine West thanked City of Moreton Bay for their valuable support in allocating a parcel of land for the Moreton Bay Wildlife Hospital.
“This announcement is a significant step forward for the wildlife in our city and we appreciate Council's dedication to this cause,” she said.
“The allocation of this land not only demonstrates a collective responsibility for our native animals but also ensures that dedicated wildlife volunteers in our region will save valuable time and resources, giving our injured wildlife the best chance at survival.
“It’s through collaborative efforts between the community and government, that we can enhance outcomes for our injured and sick wildlife.
“While the Federal Government’s $5 million grant for a new wildlife hospital at Capalaba is wonderful news for animals in the Redlands area, that does not help us here to the north of Brisbane at the City of Moreton Bay, with our local volunteers enduring a two-hour return trip for every animal that needs specialised veterinary care.
“There is a great need for a wildlife hospital in Moreton Bay and the situation is urgent. I’m hopeful now this land is secured, other levels of government will come to the party with financial support to ensure a brighter future for our wildlife.”
City of Moreton Bay is committed to protecting local wildlife and conserving the environment through a number of initiatives, including the 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 green space to protect it from development.