The appointment of not-for-profit conservation group, Rainforest Reserves Australia, as the new operators of the Garners Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre at Mission Beach has been cautiously welcomed by Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps.
Mr Cripps said the announcement of new operators for the facility follows a community driven campaign to keep it open, after the Palaszczuk Labor Government originally announced plans to close it in the wake of a previous joint manager withdrawing.
“Along with experienced cassowary veterinarian Dr Graham Lauridsen, the local community spoke up loud and clear to demand that the Garners Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre remain open and they have won that battle” said Mr Cripps.
“I was pleased to be able to speak up for them and hold the Environment Minister, Steven Miles, to account for the series of inaccurate and misleading statements about how the facility had been run and how it would be run in the future” he said.
“The way Dr Lauridsen was treated was appalling and it was a terrible shame that the unassuming and respected Tully vet was on several occasions forced to speak to the media to set the record straight and correct false claims made by the Minister”.
“The appointment of Rainforest Reserves Australia as the new facility managers is certainly welcome news – given Labor’s original solution was to shut the centre down – so I hope the excellent work that occurred there previously can now continue”.
Mr Cripps said he hoped Rainforest Reserves Australia would be swift to demonstrate its capability and experience in dealing with sick or injured cassowaries and abandoned cassowary chicks, which has previously been the core business of the centre.