Planning is underway for a new purpose-built Wildlife Hospital and Centre of Excellence situated on Redlands Coast to protect and preserve wildlife in south-east Queensland.
RSPCA Queensland and Redland City Council have partnered to accelerate the vision for the new facility. A prime Redlands Coast site has been secured in the Redlands IndigiScapes Centre precinct in Capalaba.
The animal welfare charity has been searching for a suitable location across Brisbane and the greater Brisbane region that could accommodate a Wildlife Centre of Excellence for the last year.
RSPCA Queensland CEO Darren Maier said: “Redland City Council shares our values and understands the importance of protecting and preserving our native flora and fauna. Selecting this region to establish a new wildlife hospital has been a natural fit.”
The current RSPCA Wildlife Hospital at Wacol was built to cater for 5000 wildlife patients and in its first year of operation in 2012 cared for 8359 patients. More than a decade later, the RSPCA Queensland sees more than 25,000 native animals per year admitted for medical treatment and rehabilitation. This is 400 percent over capacity, clearly a number that the current facility was never designed to be able to resource.
Dr Tim Portas, RSPCA Queensland’s Wildlife Veterinary Director, said: “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.”
“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,” Dr Portas said.
There is currently no Wildlife Hospital within the Redland region. Wildlife carers and good Samaritans that find injured or sick wildlife need to rely on veterinary support from RSPCA Wildlife Hospitals based at Wacol and Eumundi, Australia Zoo at Beerwah, or Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast.
Once built, this state-of-the-art facility will bring together cutting-edge technology, international best practices, and enhanced abilities to care of 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 every day.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the Wildlife Centre of Excellence, which would include a hospital for koalas and other wildlife, was the most exciting environmental and animal welfare project for Redlands Coast since Council’s Redlands 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,” Cr Williams said.
“Here, locals and visitors can access native botanic gardens, a native nursery, bush trails, a nature playground, and café that specialises in great food with a bush tucker twist.
“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.”
A transformational project of this size requires an investment of more than $20 million to become a reality. RSPCA Queensland supporters have already pledged generous philanthropic gifts towards the hospital build, contributing $3 million. The Federal Government has also pledged their support in the form of a $5 million commitment to the new Wildlife Hospital and Centre of Excellence.
The Minister for the Environment and Water, Hon Tanya Plibersek said: “No-one wants to imagine an Australia without koalas. The Australian Government is making sure our kids and grandkids will still be able to see koalas in the wild.”
“Investing in koala health projects, like this new Wildlife Centre for Excellence at RSPCA Queensland, will play a crucial role in protecting and conserving this beloved animal,” she said.
“Through our Saving Koalas Fund, we are investing in projects that will help koalas not only survive – but thrive.”