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Posted on 13/01/2020 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Nature Parks’ Bushfire Response

The unprecedented bushfires in East Gippsland, Upper Murray and Alpine regions of Victoria, along with those in New South Wales, Kangaroo Island and Tasmania have had a devastating impact on residents, holidaymakers, wildlife and habitat, and our thoughts are with all those affected by these tragic events.
Phillip Island Nature Parks expresses its sincere gratitude to all of the emergency services teams, support personnel and volunteers who are giving their all to combat these fires and keep people and wildlife safe.

The Nature Parks is offering immediate support and assistance through a range of onground activities, along with a series of initiatives designed to raise much needed funds towards bushfire relief, and provide some small respite to affected families.

“As protectors of wildlife and managers of Crown Land on Phillip Island, we are collaborating with DELWP (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) and Zoos Victoria to offer wildlife support in East Gippsland,” said Jessica McKelson, Phillip Island Nature Parks Conservation Manager.

“A team of our wildlife care specialists is on standby to assist in the triage centres being set up across the region upon DELWP’s request, and we are well prepared with a range of equipment, including specialised koala catch and transport equipment.”

Our own wildlife care facilities at the Koala Reserve and the Wildlife Clinic at the Penguin Parade have been made available to the bushfire response team in the event that they need these facilities to support koalas, small mammals, and birds.

The Nature Parks is also providing financial donations to bushfire and wildlife relief funds. “We have established a Workplace Giving Program, whereby any bushfire relief donations to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal and Wildlife Victoria made by Nature Parks’ staff will be matched dollar for dollar by the Nature Parks,” said Catherine Basterfield, Phillip Island Nature Parks CEO.

Additionally, for every person that visits the Koala Reserve on Phillip island during the month of February, the Nature Parks will donate $1 to Wildlife Victoria for the wildlife recovery effort in recognition of the plight of koalas in bushfire affected areas.

“We feel very fortunate that Phillip Island has not been directly impacted by these devastating fires, and we can continue our operations as normal, so we are committed to supporting our neighbours, friends and colleagues in the fire affected areas not only on behalf of the Nature Parks, but also our many visitors who have expressed their desire to provide assistance.

“We are also acutely aware of the impact these events can have on affected residents, the families who are trying to rebuild their lives and return to some sort of normality, so we are also hoping to offer some small form of respite.”

“When the timing is appropriate and the immediate threat has passed, we will be providing an opportunity to all fire affected Victorian residents, holidaymakers, and volunteers to gain free entry to our attractions so they have the opportunity to hopefully experience a little joy and fun during these incredibly stressful times. We will announce the details of these arrangements once they have been confirmed.”

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the fires, and we are deeply grateful to the many people who are working tirelessly through a range of emergency services to protect people and wildlife right across the state.”

#ENDS#
Media Enquiries:
Roland Pick – Head of International Sales and Communications
Tel: +613 5951 2825 Mobile: 0418 402 161 Email: rpick@penguins.org.au