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Federal Government’s tourism package includes six-month extension of Zoos and Aquarium program
The package of measures to stimulate Australia's tourism industry after the cessation of the JobKeeper allowance will see the existing Zoos and Aquarium program extended by six months.
First announced in April 2020, the $94.6 million program has been supporting zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks in maintain their animal populations where their tourism revenue has been affected by travel and social distancing restrictions.
Announced today by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the package’s mix of half-price airline tickets, cheap loans for businesses and direct support airlines, has been announced as “a bridge to a more normal way of life for Australians”.
The Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) last year welcomed the support, advising that the assistance was a relief to ZAA-accredited wildlife organisations around Australia, who have been maintaining the high costs of animal care without any visitor admission income for the last month, and who face continued uncertainty about when they can reopen their gates.
The Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA), which last year welcomed the initial support, has also welcomed the extension of the program.
ZAA Executive Director, Nicola Craddock stated “the Zoo and Aquarium Association is thrilled to hear that the Federal Government will continue to provide support for our nation’s zoos and aquariums, who are still very much feeling the financial impacts of COVID-19.
“For many of them, this support has been life-saving for their businesses and has enabled accredited Australian zoos and aquariums to maintain our standards of animal welfare.”
ZAA-accredited wildlife organisations around Australia have been maintaining the high costs of animal care with reduced or non-existent visitor admission income over the past year.
Funds from the support package will go towards the variety of costs associated with caring for exotic and native wildlife, many of which are threatened species.
Article amended 5pm on 14th March 2021 to include updated comment from ZAA Executive Director, Nicola Craddock.
Image: Perth Zoo orangutan Sungai. Credit: Perth Zoo.
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