Koala rescue and medical services in South East Queensland have received $3 million in support funding as bushfires highlight the threats facing our native wildlife.
Working closely with Koala hospitals at the Australia Zoo, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and Queensland RSPCA, $1 million in funding has been finalised for each hospital over the next four years, creating an important network of services to support Koala populations.
The funding is the first stage of a wider $6 million commitment to Koalas in Northern NSW and South-east Queensland.
On ground work is already underway with regional experts and local land care providers to identify, in the light of the fires in NSW and Queensland, the most effective ways to implement a further $3 million funding package for on-ground works to protect and restore koala habitat in the regions.
A recent meeting involving both states in Brisbane has begun identifying short and long term priorities to protect important koala habitat and populations from fire and other threats.
We will also continue to monitor the needs of Port Macquarie hospital who have highlighted the importance of habitat restoration.
The most immediate step, after rescue and care, is to map the extent and severity of recent and current fires in relation to known koala habitat.
The Department of the Environment and Energy is developing these maps with the Queensland and NSW governments, and Geoscience Australia.
For further information, visit: http://www.environment.gov.au/environment-restoration-fund