THE federal government has pledged $5 million to help establish a state-of-the-art wildlife hospital and centre of excellence at Capalaba.
Federal environment minister Tanya Plibersek, who made a rare visit to Redlands for the announcement, said the government was investing millions in projects that would help koalas survive and thrive into the future.
“No one wants to imagine an Australia without koalas,” she said. “The Australian government is making sure our kids and grandkids will still be able to see koalas in the wild.”
The Redlands facility – earmarked for the Indigiscapes centre off Runnymede Rd – will bring together cutting-edge technology and international best practices to care for wildlife.
It will also become Queensland’s centre of excellence for wildlife education and research, providing leadership and knowledge to collectively tackle growing challenges facing native animals.
Redland City Council and RSPCA Queensland have partnered to accelerate the vision for the new facility.
Mayor Karen Williams said the hospital was the most exciting environmental and animal welfare project for Redlands since the Indigiscapes centre was developed.
“Indigiscapes underwent a major expansion only a few years ago, anchoring its place as one of the most unique environment centres in south-east Queensland,” she said.
“This project aligns so well with what is offered at Indigiscapes and will be wonderful for our city and for wildlife not only here but across south-east Queensland.
“Our partnership with RSPCA Queensland is a strong acknowledgment of council’s environmental credentials, and the wildlife centre of excellence will further highlight many of the outstanding, naturally wonderful aspects of Redlands Coast.”
RSPCA Queensland chief executive Darren Maier said Redlands was a “natural fit” for the new facility.
“Redland City Council shares our values and understands the importance of protecting and preserving our native flora and fauna,” he said.
With no wildlife hospital available in Redlands, carers and good Samaritans who find injured or sick wildlife need to rely on veterinary support from wildlife hospitals and facilities elsewhere.
Data shows the RSPCA hospital at Wacol in Brisbane is currently operating above capacity, with more than 25,000 native animals per year admitted for medical treatment and rehabilitation.
RSPCA Queensland wildlife veterinary director Dr Tim Portas said a new centre would help ease the burden on those in the community working to keep animals safe from harm.
“Every year I’m amazed at the lengths our RSPCA vets, nurses and volunteers go to – rescuing, treating, rehabilitating and protecting the future of our wildlife,” he said.
“While they do the best they can, a new purpose-built wildlife hospital to manage the capacity demand will cohesively transform the great work our teams are currently doing for our wildlife and enable us to do even more.”