Not only koalas would be cared at a future Northern Rivers Wildlife Hospital in Wollongbar, but also marine wildlife, birds, reptiles and more. PHOTO: Marc Stapelberg
Not only koalas would be cared at a future Northern Rivers Wildlife Hospital in Wollongbar, but also marine wildlife, birds, reptiles and more. PHOTO: Marc Stapelberg

Koalas, snakes, bats will benefit from wildlife hospital

A 2 ha site within the Ballina Shire has been identified as the best location for a future wildlife hospital.

Chairperson of Northern Rivers Wildlife Hospital Inc, Ninian Gemmel, said the not-for-profit

has been busy trying to find a suitable site for the precinct within the Department of Primary Industries precinct in Wollongbar.

"In the last six months, we have found a site in Wollongbar and we have signed a memorandum of understanding (with DPI)," he said.

"It allows us to go ahead and make investigations and see what we need to do to modify the land, before any building modification works take place.

"The precinct will treat not just the furry koalas, but also reptiles, birds, frogs, bats and any sort of wildlife."

Mr Gemmel said the registered charity's directors are all volunteer roles.

"Whatever money we can bring in via donations or third-party funding goes directly to the project," he said.

"We are being advised by a number of very well-qualified vets in terms of what the site and the building should look like".

The chairperson said - in the long term - the precinct is planned to do more than treat animals.

"We are a community-based organisation, and the intention is to build a world-class, brick-and-mortars (resource) for treatment of injured or orphan wildlife, but we also want to do some research, and we want to provide an educational facility for school kids and other groups to learn about wildlife and natural habitat," he said.

"The board is currently trying to work out exactly when we might be operational.

"We would like to think that we may be in operation within 12 months, but when would we have educational and research facilities, that would be three years or maybe a bit longer."

Winona the Green Sea Turtle, released by Australian Seabird Rescue in Ballina in 2018.
Winona the Green Sea Turtle, released by Australian Seabird Rescue in Ballina in 2018.

Mr Gemmel said anyone looking to become a member of donate funds can contact the organisation.

"We are redeveloping our website, but we are always open to new members joining, anyone can join in or make a tax-deductible donation by contacting Elly on info@nrwh.org.au," he said.


FULL LIST: Ballina’s nominees for Australian of Year Awards

Premium Content FULL LIST: Ballina’s nominees for Australian of Year Awards

Channel 9’s James Bracey will be guest speaker, and MC will be broadcaster and...

30 silos, almost 13m high, proposed for Ballina Shire

Premium Content 30 silos, almost 13m high, proposed for Ballina Shire

The silos would be used for seasonal storage of local produce

’We have lost a great man’: Sporting community in mourning

Premium Content ’We have lost a great man’: Sporting community in mourning

The 83-year-old former Olympic cyclist died after a fall