A federal grant of almost $80,000 will help transform Lismore’s existing Koala Care Centre into a major educational tourism destination, Page MP Kevin Hogan says.
Mr Page announced the grant for the East Lismore facility as ‘great news for our community and koalas across the North Coast, considering this was such a hotly contested funding round’.
The project will be funded under the federal government’s National Stronger Regions Fund program, and will be matched by the Friends of the Koala.
The works will include the construction of a new access road and building, including fit-out, to house the educational, administrative and volunteer functions of the not-for-profit Friends of the Koala, as well as secure garage for its Rescue Van.
‘This is a terrific project that will increase the number of tourists visiting Lismore and allow the Friends of the Koala to deliver more educational information about koalas to more groups’, Mr Hogan said.
‘It will also extend the range of skills Friends of the Koala currently offers to Centrelink clients and potential volunteers.’
Ros Irwin, vice-president of Friends of the Koala, said that as well as the educational and tourist benefits from the new building, it will also have significant benefits for the koalas taken into care by Friends of the Koala.
‘Our current Care Centre is where everything happens and sometimes it can be quite chaotic and noisy, which isn’t the best environment for those koalas in our three intensive treatment rooms that are contained in the building,’ she said.
‘This new building will be a dedicated and quiet treatment centre for the koalas in care, which can only be beneficial for them.’
A full list of successful round three National Stronger Regions Fund projects will be available on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website on Friday, 7 October at www.infrastructure.gov.au.