New fridges to cut power bills at Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary

A brand new freezer filled with mice would be a calamity for most people  – but it’s cause for celebration at Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary, where new refrigeration equipment funded through a federal grant is slashing their power bills.
 
Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien today announced a $6,245 grant through the Liberal and Nationals Government’s Powering Communities Program for the sanctuary at Oakhurst, near Maryborough.
 
“The Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary is home to more than 300 animals, from kangaroos, wallabies, and dingoes to native birds and reptiles, and electricity bills are a significant cost for this not-for-profit organisation,” Mr O’Brien said.
“This funding has allowed the Sanctuary to replace its worn-out donated fridges and freezers with new, energy-efficient models that will cut hundreds of dollars from their bills each quarter, which is enough to feed around 40 kangaroos for a week, and ensure the animals and reptiles have access to appropriate fresh food.
 
“Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary plays a valuable role in caring for our native wildlife, and the more they can save on costs, the more sustainable their operations become.”
 
“During the pandemic lockdowns, which closed businesses and closed borders, the Sanctuary also received vital support through the Supporting Australia’s Exhibiting Zoos and Aquariums Program to help with running costs and keeping the animals fed.
 
“Local visitors and tourists are provide an essential source of revenue for the Sanctuary, but closed borders have kept the tourists away which meant the Sanctuary lost a significant revenue stream, potentially threatening the animals they care for.
 
“I worked with the Sanctuary to secure a funding lifeline for them, without it the Sanctuary and their animals would no longer be with us on the Fraser Coast.”
 
“I encourage everyone to visit the Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary and meet the animals and enjoy everything it has to offer.”
 
Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said that lowering the energy costs of community groups would have positive effects both locally and nationally.
 
“This funding of between $5,000 and $12,000 to community groups from all the 151 federal electorates of Australia will allow them to spend more on their essential activities,” Minister Taylor said.
 
“At the same time as these groups are providing increased assistance to their local communities, they will be playing a part in our national efforts to reduce emissions.
 
“Local jobs will be created through the energy-efficiency measures undertaken by the successful funding applicants under the program.
 
“These include installing solar panels or a battery, replacing lighting with LEDs, conducting an energy audit and upgrading air conditioners, hot water systems or a refrigerator with more efficient models.
Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Tim Wilson said that the grants are part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to increase the nation’s energy efficiency, while meeting and beating our emissions reduction targets.
 
“The Morrison Government is focused on empowering community groups, businesses and households to be part of our journey to carbon neutrality,” Assistant Minister Wilson said.
 
“Unlike Labor’s tax-first approach, our focus on technology is helping to lower Australia’s emissions, while also reducing electricity bills.”
 
Applications for grants under the program opened in March 2021. Each Federal MP, with the assistance of a committee representing the local community, nominated projects and invited groups to apply for the grant funding.
 
The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources selected the successful applicants after considering them for eligibility and completeness.