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Chronicle Counsel: PM Visits Central Coast

Prime Minister Scott Morrison with Hope the Wombat and Lucy Wicks MP Member for Robertson

Today the PM Scott Morrison made a surprise visit to the Coast, with an exciting announcement to share.

To collected media, the PM announced that The Australian Reptile Park has received a much-needed funding lifeline of $172,190 after the Federal Government unveiled a $94.6 million support package to help Australian Zoo’s and Aquariums get through the COVID-19 crisis. 

This funding will assist The Australian Reptile Park with the fixed operating costs associated with the caring of their animals, while also helping to ensure they can remain viable and available to welcome visitors. 

Federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks MP said: “the funding that The Australian Reptile Park has received will provide a lifeline for this popular tourism attraction.” 

“Keeping our regional zoos and aquariums in the best shape possible as we deal with this pandemic will be vital to helping our regional communities get back on their feet, which in-turn will sustain local jobs.” 

“It’s absolutely crucial our iconic zoos and aquariums, like The Australian Reptile Park can still operate on the other side of the COVID-19 Pandemic. These businesses will play a major role in helping our tourism industry to recover,” Ms Wicks said. 

The funding would help ensure The Australian Reptile Park to continue to provide quality treatment and care to their animals. 

This funding contributes towards animal welfare and operational costs, which includes animal feed, enclosure, health and other specialised care expenses, and utilities directly related to the housing and caring for animals.

General Manager of The Australian Reptile Park, Tim Faulkner said, ‘this funding has been an absolute lifeline for the Australian Reptile Park.

The park traditionally hasn’t been closed for 60 years, when COVID-19 first hit the shock waves were felt by all as the park was closed for upwards for 3 months.’ 

‘The nature of our industry means we can’t simply walk away, we still had to find ways to afford the basic day to day running’s of the park to ensure we could support the many wildlife that we look after.’ 

‘Being recognised as a valuable industry by the Government isn’t only appreciated in a finance sense, but emotionally it’s an honour to be acknowledged nationally for the valuable work we do.’ 

Zookeepers, aquarium owners and veterinarians continue to play a lead role in wildlife recovery, from treatment and rehabilitation to the development of insurance populations. 

At the same time, they are caring for thousands of animals who live permanently within their network and this is critical funding to support the welfare of those animals along with the vital ongoing role The Reptile Park plays in conserving our environment and protecting native species,” Ms Wicks said. 

This initiative is part of the Government’s $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund to support regions, communities and industry sectors that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 

We believe that the PM’s daughters were disappointed to have missed out on the opportunity to visit the Australian Reptile Park, perhaps a very good reason for the PM and his family to visit during the upcoming holidays!

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Our thanks to Lucy Wicks and her team for keeping us informed about this event.

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