In response to concerns from volunteer wildlife carers regarding the $130,000 set aside in grants to assist them and care groups affected by the 2019/20 bushfires the following response has been provided by the Premier:

“The Queensland Government acknowledges the invaluable contribution that existing Queensland wildlife carers and care groups play in the rescue and rehabilitation of sick or injured wildlife. It is in recognition of this contribution that I and the Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts recently announced new funding of $250,000 to support wildlife hospitals and wildlife carers in Queensland who have engaged with animals affected by bushfires and drought. Of this, $130,000 has been made available to eligible individual carers and wildlife care groups through the Community Sustainability Action Grants, and $120,000 has been distributed between the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, RSPCA Wildlife Hospital and Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to cover the costs of caring for animals brought in for treatment. This funding is in addition to the $6 million the Queensland Government has already contributed to support the South East Queensland (SEQ) Wildlife Hospital Network and the $200,000 which is provided annually to support the RSPCA in operating the 1300 Animal Hotline. Beyond the direct financial support provided through grants from the Queensland Government, the Department of Environment and Science works closely with the SEQ Wildlife Hospital Network and the Queensland Wildlife Rehabilitation Council to identify practical measures that can be taken to support the more than 770 community-based volunteer wildlife carers and care groups. The Government recognises the vital role these individuals and care groups play in responding to the impacts of natural disasters on Queensland’s wildlife.”