Funding for a new $8 million koala hospital is at the top of Moreton Bay Regional Council’s wish list from the next Queensland Government.
Mayor Peter Flannery has written to the state Labor and LNP leaders – Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deb Frecklington – as well as candidates from both parties, seeking support.
The Mayor wants $5 million for a planned Moreton Bay Koala Rehabilitation and Education Centre from the government, after next week’s State Election.
Moreton Daily has asked both main political party candidates in the seat of Kurwongbah if they would support council’s funding bid and is waiting for responses.
One of Australia’s few growing urban koala populations is on the 110ha site, adjacent to the new USC university, making it an “ideal location” according to Mayor Flannery.
“Wildlife volunteers currently have to transport koalas to the RSPCA in Wacol or Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast for emergency medical treatment, which is an untenable two-hour journey,” he says.
“Successful world-class academic research into koala conservation is already being conducted onsite, such as koala chlamydia vaccine research, the Koala Conservation Partnership project and the Urban Koala Tree Project.
“This is a logical and time-critical investment that we want to see happen. I’m hoping for a solution.”
Council’s plan is for the new facility to work with USC and local koala conservation groups on wildlife research and support emergency rescue and rehabilitation.
It would run education programs which support the STEM pathways for school students as well as supporting wildlife management and conservation.
There would also be training for local wildlife groups and industries, including vets and create jobs as a visitor attraction for tourists.