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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
9 May 2006
The surgical, rehabilitation, research and training capacities of the Australian Wildlife Hospital will be greatly expanded with a $2.5 million funding injection from the Australian Government, announced today by the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.
A state-of-the-art facility based at Beerwah on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, the hospital provides round-the-clock surgical care and rehabilitation to Australia's native animals, including a variety of native snake, lizard, and bird species, as well as nationally-listed threatened species.
"This vital funding will assist the Australian Wildlife Hospital and Rescue Unit - which services an area of more than 100,000km from northern New South Wales to Maryborough in Queensland and west to Toowoomba - to meet the construction costs associated with the expansion of facilities," Senator Campbell said.
"The Australian Wildlife Hospital has strong associations with a number of national universities and is passing on its extensive knowledge of native animals and best care practices to veterinary students and wildlife trainees who undertake practical work experience and course work at the hospital.
"Staff at the hospital also conduct ongoing research into wildlife disease and health management, the results of which may in the future be used to further protect our unique and iconic native species."
One of the main functions of the hospital, which includes an intensive care room, laboratory and holding facilities, is the care and rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned koalas and other wildlife resulting in the eventual release of the animals back into the wild.
"Almost 70 per cent of the hospital's patients are victims of car accidents or domestic pet attacks," Senator Campbell said.
"The demand for services is rapidly increasing and this funding will go a long way to assist with the construction of new facilities to help meet the growing demand," Senator Campbell said.
For more information: www.deh.gov.au/about/publications/budget/2006
Marianne McCabe on 02 6277 7640 or 0400 389 580