Zoo of golden gumleaves
News source: Sunshine Coast Daily, Saturday 13 May 2006
By Kathy Sundstrom
Budget bonanza for animal hospital
THE cute, cuddly koala has found an unlikely friend with enough political punch to deliver results.
Just one month after federal member for Longman Mal Brough promised Australia Zoo he would put in a big for $2 million in funding from the Budget, he has delivered – plus interest.
Yesterday Mr Brough announced the Australian Wildlife Hospital at the Zoo would be the major beneficiary of a one-off $2.5 million federal funding boost.
He said the Hospital would “improve the chance of survival for thousands of our native animals”.
And during his visit to the Zoo yesterday he was able to see first-hand where the money would be going.
“There was a koala there which had to have about $7000 worth of surgery done to it. In the past it would have just been euthanised, now it's been given a chance to survive. This is about making a statement of the importance wildlife is to Australia and supports the work being done by so many volunteers,” he said.
Mr Brough's association with the Zoo began about three years ago with a troubled bird.
“We found a bird that had been injured and we didn't know where to take it so we took it to the Zoo,” he said.
In between juggling his commitments to his electorate and the portfolio of family, community and indigenous affairs, Mr Brough takes time out to help out where he can.
“My son volunteers down there,” he said.
“This will become the world's largest learning, practical hospital.”
The Australian Wildlife Hospital collects sick, injured and orphaned koalas and other wildlife, and provides cares and rehabilitation before releasing them back into the wild.
Staff also conduct research into wildlife diseases and health management.
“Patient numbers are skyrocketing, with up to 90 koalas admitted each month for treatment and 60 koalas in the facility's specially designed koala rehabilitation enclosures,” Mr Brough said.
He will also be watching whether the koala makes it to the threatened species list.
“A decision on this will be announced in the coming weeks,” he said.
Honour for Mrs Crocodile Hunter
THE Governor of Queensland Quentin Bryce AC yesterday presented Terri Irwin with an Honorary Order of Australia at Government House in Brisbane .
Terri was appointed an Honorary Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her outstanding dedication to wildlife conservation and the tourism industry, particularly through Australia Zoo, conservation lectures for schools, universities and community groups, and support for many charitable organisations, particularly assisting children in Australia and overseas.
“I am overwhelmed and very proud to be recognised by my new home country and I really admire Australians' mateship and the spirit of camaraderie,” Terri Irwin said.
Among the 25 others honoured yesterday were Terry White for service to the pharmacy profession, particularly through contributions to regulatory authorities and industry reform, and to the community through social welfare, school and civic groups.