$4.5 million for koala care announced

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koala care funding
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The University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science’s Camden campus will be the site for the NSW Government’s new koala care centre. With $4.5 million in new funding, the facility will be part of the Wildlife Health and Conservation Hospital. 

This facility, recently announced by the NSW Minister for Climate Change and the Environment Penny Sharpe, aims to treat a large proportion of koalas which come into care in the Macarthur region.

There will be a further $500,000 to support the region’s dedicated wildlife rehabilitators, available via a grant program. The investment will boost the availability of expert help for injured and sick koalas in the region, which is home to a thriving koala population.

The new funding will expand the hospital’s capacity to support koala rescue, rehabilitation, and conservation. The facility will also benefit wildlife rehabilitation across the region with on-call vet care and advice, and access to facilities such as pre-release enclosures, upgraded clinical equipment and biosecurity seclusion areas.

“This funding is vital to support the provision of acute, intermediate and pre-release care of koalas within the one facility, which is a game changer,” head of School and dean, Professor Jacqui Norris said.

“Our Wildlife Health and Conservation Hospital is critical in training the next generation of veterinarians and in providing guidance to our wonderful network of wildlife carers.” 

“I have seen firsthand the important work carried out by the passionate and dedicated team at the Wildlife Health and Conservation Hospital, and I’m thrilled this funding will allow them to care for more koalas,” Minister Penny Sharpe added.

“Safeguarding these koalas is vital. We want future generations to be able to step into bushland in south-western Sydney and see koalas in the wild.”

The koalas include orphaned joeys Mack and Gage, who were being released back into the wild at Wedderburn in south-west Sydney after being treated and cared for by staff and volunteers from the Wildlife Health and Conservation Hospital and WIRES.

Mack and Gage will be observed for a week in a small area of bushland to ensure they are climbing trees properly. Then they’ll receive the green light to roam further afield.

This $5 million investment complements previous commitments to safeguard the region’s koalas, including habitat protection, koala-friendly crossings, and vehicle strike mitigation.

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