Licensed Victorian wildlife carers who help rehabilitate injured wildlife will be able to continue their good work with the help of $200,000 in grants provided by the Brumby Labor Government.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings said the grants would help cover some of the costs faced by rehabilitators.
The government also committed an additional $150,000 to develop a training and education program for rehabilitators.
“Wildlife rehabilitators are unsung heroes who volunteer their time and money to care for sick and injured wildlife. These grants reward and help sustain their efforts,” Mr Jennings said.
“Our Government recognises their efforts and the costs involved with their work. These grants will help them cover the costs of equipment and such things as personal protection equipment, enclosures, fencing, bedding and storage.
“We want to help them continue with their extremely valuable work of rescuing and rehabilitating injured wildlife and releasing them back into the wild.”
Mr Jennings said $175,000 would be available to Victorian wildlife rehabilitators as part of the 2010/11 wildlife rehabilitation grants program with $25,000 provided to the Phillip Island Nature Park to assist them with the care of sick or injured seabirds.
Mr Jennings said the grants could be used to purchase approved personal protection equipment for wildlife rescue following bushfires such as fire helmets, gloves and overalls, infrastructure such as cages, enclosures, pens, fencing and other equipment as well as training costs.
The funding also builds on previous grant programs provided by the Brumby Labor Government. In total, $1.45 million in grants has been provided to wildlife carers in recognition of their work.
Last year the government provided $200,000 under the grants program. A further $350,000 grant program was delivered in 2009 to support rescue and rehabilitation efforts as a result of the devastating Black Saturday bushfires. In 2008, $500,000 was provided to enable rehabilitators to purchase new facilities and equipment.
Members of the public who encounter an injured animal should avoid approaching it. Instead, they should contact DSE 13 61 86 or RACV Wildlife Connect on 131 111.
For more information on wildlife rehabilitators call the DSE Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or go to www.dse.vic.gov.au