Australia Zoo may have collapsed without 'lifesaver' funding, Irwin says

Terry Irwin, the owner of Australia Zoo, says the federal government's $95 million support package for zoos is a "lifesaver" for the struggling industry.

Australia Zoo may have collapsed without 'lifesaver' funding, Irwin says

Terry Irwin, the owner of Australia Zoo, says the federal government's $95 million support package for zoos is a "lifesaver" for the struggling industry.

Irwin told 9News Australia Zoo that with visitor numbers at zero and animals still needing to be fed, the world-famous facility was struggling amid coronavirus restrictions.

"We were looking at really being out at the end of May so having this funding sent in potentially mid-May it's just like the Federal Government has ridden in with the cavalry to save the day," she said.

"We're all struggling to feed our animals and to make ends meet so that's why this funding is so particularly important."

Australia Zoo is not an anomaly - all zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks facing the same crisis across the nation.

"While just our food bill is tens-of-thousands of dollars a week, everyone has different needs and some of the smaller zoological gardens were coming into strife a lot sooner than we were," Irwin said.

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said it was crucial that zoos and aquariums survived the crisis to help the tourism industry recover once restrictions were lifted.

Coronavirus: Economy overhaul

"[These zoos] also happen to house tens of thousands of animals and fish species who can cost tens-of-thousands of dollars each to feed and care for each and every year," he said.

"It's just not acceptable for us in a country like Australia to leave zoos or aquariums without food, without veterinary support, without the sort of care that Australia would expect them to receive.

"This payment will be there to support food, and basic veterinary."

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Zoo employees and managers have also been reliant on the $1500-a-fortnight JobKeeper wage subsidy.

Richard Dilly, the general manager of Sydney's SEA LIFE aquarium said JobKeeper had enabled him to keep his workforce employed.

"If you look at our food bill alone for animals we spend in the region of about half a million dollars," he said.

"Because of the job keeper allowance and we've been able to retain our permanent workforce.

"We've also had some casual employees who've been able to benefit from this program too."

Wildlife zoo threatened by bushfires faces floods

Funding boost for wildlife parks welcomed in the NT

By Ainsley Koch

A popular Northern Territory wildlife park has welcomed a $94.6 million dollar funding package from the Federal Government to help keep Australian zoos and aquariums open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Crocodylus Park closed earlier this year and was forced to stand down a number of staff due to COVID-19 and it is still unclear when the park will reopen.

Manager Emily Moyes said if her business is eligible for the funding, it will go a long way with general upkeep of the park.

"The cost of caring is huge so having that assistance as a small family business would make such a huge difference for us."

"As you can imagine we have a lot of mouths to feed, if you add up all of our crocodiles plus other animals you're looking at over 1,000 animals easy," Ms Moyes said.

Ms Moyes said an adult crocodile eats equivalent to one full chicken per week and a female eats approximately half a chicken, while other mammals get fed multiple times a day.

"You're looking at meat, you're looking at fresh vegetables, you're looking at grains, you're looking at fruits, supplements, everything," she said.

The funding will also allow for threatened species research to continue.

Source : 9 News More   

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Coronavirus vaccine trial set for Perth

A Perth company says it will soon begin one of the first human clinical trials of a potential vaccine for the deadly coronavirus.

Coronavirus vaccine trial set for Perth

An Australian clinical research company is set to trial a potential coronavirus vaccine and says it will be seeking volunteers in the next two months.

Perth-based Linear Clinical Research will trial a "ground-breaking" potential vaccine being developed to help the body produce antibodies to fight the coronavirus.

China-based biotechnology company Clover Biopharmaceuticals has developed the potential vaccine, COVID-19 S-Trimer, a statement on Tuesday said.


Linear chief executive Jayden Rogers said the vaccine candidate showed great potential, and securing the trial was a major coup for Australia.

"This is one of the most prominent trials globally and involves some of the most renowned vaccines companies," Mr Rogers said in the statement.

He said Clover was one of the first companies to start developing a vaccine when it began work in January.

COVID-19 S-Trimer is one of the first potential vaccines to make it to human trials, he said.

Linear will be seeking healthy adults, including the elderly, to volunteer for the first phase of the trial within the next two months .

If successful, the next phase of the trial would involve thousands of people around the world, before it's hoped a vaccine could be made widely available.

Two promising vaccine candidates are being tested in Geelong.

"We are fortunate to be one of the few countries in the world to still be offering functional clinical trial facilities because we do not have large volumes of COVID-19 cases as compared to other parts of the world," Mr Rogers said.

Australia continues to have a low rate of new coronavirus cases, with 6720 people diagnosed to date and 83 deaths.

More than 2.97 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and more than 205,000 have died.

Source : 9 News More   

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