Proposal for Gympie Road Wildlife Hospital Gains Momentum After Devastating Koala Incident

Last month, a koala named India was struck by a car on Gympie Rd, the tenth koala fatality in just two years along that particular stretch of road. The incident has prompted calls to establish a wildlife hospital in the area.

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Moreton Bay Regional Council has appealed to the government for assistance in constructing a wildlife hospital on Gympie Rd in Lawnton, a facility estimated to cost approximately $10 million, with an additional annual operational expense of up to $5 million.

The leading cause of animal admissions to the SEQ wildlife hospital network is car accidents, with koalas accounting for 11.4 percent of admissions.

Photo credit: Moreton Bay Koala Rescue/Facebook

Currently, wildlife needing urgent care have to be transported for up to two hours to the RSPCA facility at Wacol and Australia Zoo at Beerwah, prompting Mayor Peter Flannery to highlight the urgent need for a dedicated wildlife hospital in Moreton Bay.

Photo credit: Google Street View

A local wildlife hospital would reduce travel times for injured animals and alleviate the burden on carers, who are already strained by rising fuel and food costs.

The loss of India highlights the repercussions of the delayed implementation of crucial safety measures, including a fauna rope bridge, koala fencing, and an underpass at Four Mile Creek on Gympie Rd in Lawnton.

Originally slated to commence construction in April 2023, the project has been plagued by delays that have severely impacted the contractor’s timeline.

In response to these unfortunate events, Moreton Bay Koala Rescue took to their Facebook page, expressing their disappointment regarding the delays in the installation of wildlife fencing in the area.

Photo credit: Moreton Bay Koala Rescue/Facebook

“We have been promised for MONTHS there will be wildlife fencing put up in this area to try and protect India and his friends who frequently cross Gympie Road but as usual these are all empty promises…”

The rescue group also reminded local officials that they are not asking for a wildlife hospital but for wildlife fencing. 

Cr Mick Gillam explained that the delay in procurement and tender awarding has impacted the delivery schedule which caused ‘unavoidable’ setbacks.

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Meanwhile, discussions are already underway with key stakeholders, including the federal and state governments, RSPCA, Australia Zoo, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, wildlife rescue groups in the region, the Moreton Bay Wildlife Hospital Foundation, and private entrepreneurs willing to support wildlife and koala rehabilitation on their properties.

Published 6-July-2023