KOALA CARERS: Malcolm Balch with a rescued koala.
KOALA CARERS: Malcolm Balch with a rescued koala.

Cash boost for burnt out wildlife carers

FUNDING for wildlife carers by the State Government could provide much needed reprieve for Granite Belt Wildlife Carers.

President and registered Koala carer Betty Balch said people may not realise that a cash injection could best be used for travel costs.

"Volunteers have to pick up the injured animal and then transport it, plus we need to get fresh feed so you're looking at about 40km a day. "she said.

"The closest wildlife hospital is the RSPCA in Wacol, that's a lot of money if you are picking up the fuel bill every time."

Granite Belt Wildlife Carers currently have koalas in their care which hail from as far as Esk and Wivenhoe.

Ms Balch said a service like GBWCs' second largest cost is fresh feed.

"You have the mother koalas pushing babies out of trees, because they are too hungry to look after them so we've now got the babies," she said.

"We have 8 koalas here in care and we've got to get them fresh food everyday while some are available, we have to get older leaf form the fire-affected area which is anywhere up to 40km a day to get that."

Ms Balch said the hotter weather means you'd need a cold room to keep eucalyptus leaves fresh, which the average carer will not have.

Busy enough herself, Ms Balch said she can't imagine how inundated and under resourced carers down south are.

"We had bushfires here right up to our back door in September at Stanthorpe and they weren't nearly as bad so I can't imagine what they're going through," she said.

"Our disaster was only a few square kilometres and our population was severely impacted so it must be devastating there."

Ms Balch does not know if she will receive a portion of the $250,000 provided to 770 community-based volunteer wildlife carers and groups.

"I am not sure yet, but I've spoken to these groups who would need it the most and they're still in a state of shock," she said.

"I guess the funding is great but I think they'd all agree we just need the fires to go away." "


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