Wildlife shelters providing emergency relief to wildlife injured in the Lorne, Scotsburn and Lancefield fires will be eligible for grants of up to $500 as part of a $80,000 funding allocation from the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville said the one-off grants would be made available to registered wildlife shelters as reimbursement for the cost of feed and medical supplies.
The grants are a recognition of the crucial role played by wildlife shelters and the costs they incur in treating wildlife injured in bushfires.
The Government will continue to make one-off payments to wildlife shelters in other areas in the event of new fires significantly impacting on wildlife over the remainder of the 2015-16 fire season.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is leading efforts to assess the impacts of the Lorne fire on native animals in the Wye River area. DELWP has wildlife officers accessing the fireground to locate injured koalas and other wildlife.
DELWP is working with the Incident Control Centre (ICC) at Colac to coordinate rescue and treatment efforts and will also set up a triage centre in Lorne with vets and wildlife officers to examine and treat injured wildlife brought in from the fireground and where appropriate pass them on to authorised wildlife shelters.
While wildlife shelters and carers will play an important role in the rescue and care of injured wildlife, fire grounds are dangerous, so entry to these areas can only occur once it is safe to do so and rescue volunteers have been notified by the ICC.
Authorised wildlife shelters wishing to apply for a grant can contact the DELWP Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville
“The Andrews Labor Government recognises the critical role played by wildlife shelters and volunteer wildlife rehabilitators in caring for animals injured or displaced by bushfires.”
“There are more than 300 authorised wildlife shelters in Victoria who are largely dependent on unpaid volunteers and donations.”
“The Lorne, Scotsburn and Lancefield fires have impacted significantly on wildlife and this new funding will help wildlife shelters cover their costs in feeding and treating injured animals.”