David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

$94.6 million to support zoos, wildlife parks through pandemic

April 28, 2020

Maranoa MP David Littleproud welcomes the Federal Government’s $94.6 million initiative to help zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums pull through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Zoos and wildlife parks are facing sky-high expenses to care for animals and pay operating costs because the COVID-19 pandemic is stopping visitors,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The Darling Downs Zoo in Pilton is a major tourist drawcard and that’s exactly what this grant is designed to do – to help pay operating costs including feed, vet care and electricity– for up to six months.

“There are around 20 million visitors a year to zoos and wildlife parks in Australia and they play a major role in bringing in tourist dollars to our regional communities when families and overseas travellers come to see koalas, parrots, lizards, among many other exotic animals.

“When we get through this pandemic and businesses across the Downs region open doors again, the Darling Downs Zoo will be instrumental in helping restaurants, corner stores and hotels recover.

“That means jobs and a fantastic opportunity for our urban cousins to come and find out about how we live.

“Major tourism drawcards like the Darling Downs Zoo will be able to hit the ground running like they were before the pandemic interfered with our way of life.”

Eligible exhibiting zoos and aquariums will have access to a grant that contributes towards up to six months of its animal welfare operating costs.

In addition to this support to help with operational costs, zoos and aquariums who meet the criteria will be able to apply for the JobKeeper program to assist with staffing costs.

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.