The Australian Greens today launched a $15 million plan in Adelaide to help wildlife carers meet the costs of providing quality care for sick and injured native animals.
"Wildlife carers travel great distances to respond to calls for help for injured animals and give countless hours of care. Orphaned joeys or birds, for example, often involve around the clock monitoring and feeding," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
"These volunteer heroes dig into their own pockets to provide food, medication and shelter, with some carers spending up to a hundred dollars a week on food alone and organisations spending several hundreds.
"The Greens plan for a national grants program to help wildlife carers with the costs of their important work would provide $5 million annually over the next three years," Senator Waters said.
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said: "In South Australia, our gorgeous Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat is under threat from car strikes, culling and disease.
"Charitable community groups like the Wombat Awareness Organisation in Rockleigh provide invaluable care, nursing Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats back to health and, where possible, rehabilitating them back into their natural habitat," Senator Hanson-Young said.
Wombat Awareness Organisation's Director Brigitte Stevens said the grants program would provide welcome relief for South Australian carers.
"At the centre, we save thousands of wombats that would otherwise be left to suffer across South Australia.
"It's very rewarding but does require a great deal of personal investment so this support would be very welcome and is vital for the recruitment of ongoing volunteers interested in caring for our wildlife," Ms Stevens said.
The grants will help subsidise food, medication and equipment; support training programs; fund research into care and rehabilitation; and support other activities, such as 24-hour wildlife care advice hotlines and community education.
"The Greens are proud to stand with wildlife carers who commit their time and money to looking after our precious native animals," Senator Hanson-Young said.
Senator Hanson-Young - Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760
Senator Waters - Monique Vandeleur 0419 626 725