WORK begins this month on a new RSPCA headquarters at the former John Oxley Detention Centre in Wacol, which is expected to be operational by Christmas.
Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten says the $7 million site was donated to the RSPCA with an additional $12 million for the expansion.
“Instead of demolishing the detention centre at significant cost it makes a lot of sense to convert it into an animal welfare centre and as such everyone wins,” says Schwarten.
More than 700 neglected and abused animals will find a home at the new site which will be almost double the size of the current headquarters in Fairfield.
“The extra land means that stables and a large, modern barnyard can be constructed allowing the RSPCA to better look after livestock as well as domestic pets like cats and dogs.
“The existing buildings will be converted into the adoption centre and will be less intimidating and more people-friendly than the existing site.”
RSPCA Queensland chief executive officer Mark Townend says the site is ideally located in a key southeast Queensland growth area, with easy access to the Ipswich Motorway and the Wacol railway station.
“It will make it easy for families to come in and look for a new pet that is right for them in a pleasant and friendly environment that doesn’t feel like a pound,” says Townend.
The new centre will have a key component of animal wellbeing education for both industry and school groups, with respected wildlife carer Bob Irwin also on board to establish a wildlife veterinary hospital.
“The aim is to stop animals being treated cruelly in the first place by educating students and the general public about animal wellbeing,” says Townend.
“We will create a fresh and positive piece of community infrastructure.”
The new headquarters at Wacol will care for between 15,000 and 20,000 animals each year.
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