Accredited wildlife carers will be able to maintain their skills and prepare for their response to fires thanks to $550,000 in funding from the Brumby Labor Government.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP said the Wildlife Rehabilitators Grants program will provide $400,000 over the next two years to assist wildlife carers buy personal protection equipment such as helmets, overalls, boots and gloves.
A further $150,000 will be provided to develop an education and training program for accredited wildlife carers.
“The Brumby Labor Government is taking action to ensure the great work done by accredited wildlife carers during last season’s bushfires continues into the future,” Ms Tierney said.
“During the devastating 2009 bushfires accredited wildlife carers rescued and rehabilitated many injured wildlife before releasing them back into the wild. It is important work.
“The Government’s Wildlife Rehabilitators Grants program will provide grants of up to $2000 to help Victorian wildlife rehabilitators to buy equipment such as overalls, boots and gloves.
“This equipment is vital for wildlife carers who go into bushfire affected areas to search for injured animals.
“Accredited wildlife carers play an important role in our response to bushfires by finding, caring for and rehabilitating injured animals and we have to make sure they can carry out this important work safely.”
Ms Tierney said that as part of the Wildlife Rehabilitators Grants program a further $150,000 will be used to develop an education and training program for the wildlife carers.
“This will ensure all existing accredited wildlife carers can maintain a high level of training and gives people considering taking on this important work an opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge,” Ms Tierney said.
“This education program will be developed in consultation with wildlife carers.
“Accredited wildlife carers volunteer their time and money to help Victoria’s wildlife and these grants aim to reward and sustain their efforts.
“This funding builds on a $500,000 grants program in 2008 to help wildlife rehabilitators cover the cost of enclosures and equipment and a $350,000 grants program in 2009 to help wildlife rehabilitators cover the cost of treating animals injured in the 2009 bushfires.”