House of Representatives Speech- Isaacs Electorate: Animalia Wildlife Shelter 2010

I rise to speak about the launch of the Animalia Wildlife Shelter at the Carrum Indigenous Nursery on Saturday, 5 June, which was World Environment Day. With the theme being ‘Many Species. One Planet. One Future.’ there could be no more appropriate day to officially launch Animalia Wildlife Shelter, which is based in Frankston but looks after animals and wildlife up and down the bayside area as far north as Brighton.

I rise to speak about the launch of the Animalia Wildlife Shelter at the Carrum Indigenous Nursery on Saturday, 5 June, which was World Environment Day. With the theme being ‘Many Species. One Planet. One Future.’ there could be no more appropriate day to officially launch Animalia Wildlife Shelter, which is based in Frankston but looks after animals and wildlife up and down the bayside area as far north as Brighton.

Animalia Wildlife Shelter is run by Michelle and John Thomas, who have been helping rescue and nurture local wildlife for around 20 years. For the Thomases the preservation and protection of local animals is a real passion. They are supported by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers who assist in the upkeep of facilities, the rehabilitation of animals and the preparation of the animals for release back into their natural habitat after recovery. It is very encouraging that some of these volunteers are young people. It is important that future generations have the energy and learn the skills necessary to carry on the great work being done now.

Around 60 people braved the wet and windy conditions at the Carrum Indigenous Nursery to celebrate the launch, and it was good to see the bond between Michelle Thomas and Alison Kuiter from the Carrum Indigenous Nursery. There is an obvious link between preserving indigenous vegetation and preserving native wildlife, both of which have massively declined in suburban areas. Since 1996 the volunteers at Carrum Indigenous Nursery have been propagating plants indigenous to the Port Phillip area and encouraging the growth of indigenous plants in gardens and reserves. Animalia is hoping to attract more than 50 financial members to help them continue to grow and offer greater sanctuary to injured or orphaned wildlife. I am pleased to say that I could not join up quickly enough and make a donation to kick off the campaign. Our local area has a mix of semirural and built-up suburban and industrial areas, which makes me acutely aware of the challenges faced by local wildlife and the dedicated people who are trying to protect them.

It was good to see at the launch the local state member for Carrum, Jenny Lindell, who has been a strong supporter of the Carrum Indigenous Nursery for several years, as well as Councillor Rosemary West, who is a tireless worker in protecting our local environment. She has worked hard preserving the green wedge in particular. I would like to thank Michelle Thomas and Alison Kuiter for inviting me to launch the Animalia Wildlife Shelter and I look forward to working with them to help protect our precious local wildlife into the future, as indeed I look forward to working with the Carrum Indigenous Nursery. Last year they were fortunate enough to receive a Commonwealth volunteer grant which assisted them to purchase tables at which the volunteers can stand when they are engaged in the propagation work of plants, which is a large part of the activities of the Carrum Indigenous Nursery. Because many of the volunteers are older people, the grant has been of great assistance. Those tables mean that they no longer need to bend down.