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Funding Lifeline for Zoos and Aquariums

Wednesday 29, Apr 2020

NSW zoos and aquariums will receive a much-needed funding lifeline, with the Federal Government unveiling a $94.6 million support package to help Australian operators get through the COVID-19 crisis.

This funding will assist exhibiting zoos and aquariums with the fixed operational costs associated with caring for their animals, and help Australian zoos and aquariums remain viable and ready to welcome visitors when restrictions are eased.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said facilities such as the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo are major tourism drawcards for regional areas.

“Keeping our regional zoos and aquariums in the best shape possible as we deal with this pandemic will be vital to helping regional communities get back on their feet, sustaining local jobs,” Deputy Prime Minister McCormack said.

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the initiative would provide a lifeline for these popular tourism attractions across Australia who have had many of their revenue streams dry up during this crisis.

“We shouldn't underestimate the huge positive flow-on effects our zoos and aquariums provide to our economy. They bring thousands of visitors into communities who then spend millions of dollars visiting other attractions, sleeping in our hotels and dining in our restaurants,” Minister Birmingham said.

Eligible exhibiting zoos and aquariums will have access to a grant that contributes towards up to six months of its animal welfare operating costs. This includes animal feed, enclosure, health and other specialised care expenses, and utilities directly related to the housing and caring for animals.

Austrade will work with the Zoo and Aquarium Association to identify eligible members, as well as state and territory tourism organisations to identify non-members which may be eligible for financial assistance. View the full release online, and see the fact sheet for further details.