Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, has launched a petition calling on the Palaszczuk Government to reinstate funding and allocate sufficient QPWS Rangers to the Garners Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre, to care for sick or injured Cassowaries and orphaned chicks.
Mr Cripps said he prepared the petition in response to calls from locals in the Cassowary Coast Region, who were looking for a way to express their opposition to the decision by the Palaszczuk Government to close the Garners Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre.
“The petition seeks to highlight the fact that the decision by the Palaszczuk Government to close this Centre will place the already vulnerable Cassowary at further risk and put a lot of pressure on local veterinarians and volunteer wildlife carers” said Mr Cripps.
“It calls on the Palaszczuk Government to reinstate financial support and allocate sufficient QPWS Rangers to the Centre, to ensure sick and injured Cassowaries and orphaned chicks are cared for by trained and properly resourced professionals” he said.
Mr Cripps said respected local vet, Dr Graham Lauridsen – who has vast experience treating Cassowaries – had agreed to be the principal petitioner, after both their calls last week for the Environment Minister, Steven Miles, to review the decision had gone unanswered.
“I wrote to Minister Miles on 27 July to express my deep concern and opposition to this decision by the Palaszczuk Government and requested that he urgently reconsider it, but there hasn’t been any response, so we have stepped up our campaign with this petition”.
“Minister Miles has not even responded to Dr Lauridsen – a well-known Cassowary expert – with anything more than a bland, bureaucratic answer which didn’t address key issues he has raised about the care and welfare of sick or injured birds and orphaned chicks”.
“If the Minister is not inclined to listen to me, he should certainly listen to Dr Lauridsen and the local community, which has made it clear that it isn’t happy at all about the closure of the Centre”.
Mr Cripps he would distribute paper petitions throughout the Cassowary Coast Region, although anyone wanting to assist could contact the Hinchinbrook Electorate Office on 07 4776 1428.
Alternatively, people who would like to support this campaign, but don’t have access to a paper petition, can sign the e-petition on the Queensland Parliament website, at the following address.
Paper petitions must be returned to the Hinchinbrook Electorate Office, PO Box 1515, Ingham, Qld, 4850, by Friday 4 September 2015. The e-petition will close on Monday 14 September 2015.