NSW and Victorian border communities are being supported to bounce back from the impacts of border restrictions under a $10 million COVID recovery round of the Cross-Border Commissioner’s Infrastructure Fund.
NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole visited the Albury Animal Care Centre to announce $880,000 of funding for the Learning Hub, Sustainable Enhancements and Emergency Pet Accommodation Project (LHEEPA).
This project will extend and enhance the planned redevelopment of the Albury Animal Care Centre currently funded by AlburyCity. The funding allocated by AlburyCity allows the design and construction of a new impounding facility during 2024 but does not include the elements that can now be provided by the LHEEPA project.
Albury City Mayor Kylie King highlighted the importance of the Animal Care Centre in servicing the needs of the growing community.
“This funding will enhance our exciting redevelopment plans to include building community knowledge around responsible pet ownership, providing emergency pet accommodation and much more.”
The funding provided through the Cross Border Commissioner’s Infrastructure Fund (CBCIF) will enable:
- the construction of a purpose-built animal education and training facility,
- improve digital connectivity, innovation, and customer experience,
- enhance the sustainable design,
- provide emergency pet accommodation to support victims of family violence, and
- improve the impact on the climate footprint of the Animal Care Centre.
The total cost of the Animal Care Centre redevelopment project is $3,380,000, which includes $120,000 from City of Wodonga and the successful CBCIF contribution of $880,000.
AlburyCity operates the region’s impounding service through the Animal Care Centre, providing a critical service to the surrounding Local Government Area of Greater Hume Shire and the Victorian Councils of Wodonga, Towong and Indigo Shire. As a trusted regional animal care provider, the LHEEPA Project will broaden AlburyCity’s capabilities to become an innovator and national leader in the animal management space.
The benefits of this project will provide improved social outcomes for victims of domestic violence, improved community knowledge and responsibility for pets and animal welfare, a reduction in impounded and euthanised animals, a training venue for studies in companion animal behaviour and management, an improvement and reduction of the impact of feral cats on wildlife, and a reduction of the impact of climate change from the footprint of the Animal Care Centre and Learning Hub.
Objectives of the LHEEPA Project:
- To improve community awareness and knowledge of responsible pet ownership.
- To construct a purpose-built animal education and training facility.
- To provide eight pens specifically for emergency pet accommodation.
- To consider and use innovative sustainable design elements for the construction of the Learning Hub and where possible, the redevelopment of the Animal Care Centre.
- To improve and extend Wi-Fi coverage, CCTV cameras and hand-held devices to improve customer experience.
The CBCIF will help address the following issues identified:
1. Lack of Community Awareness and Knowledge – responsible pet ownership and animal welfare
A targeted community education approach will improve animal welfare and safety. This approach aims to decrease animal impounding rates and improve and reduce the impact of feral cats on wildlife. A purpose-built education facility will allow companion animals to be brought on-site which will assist with hands-on training and enhance connection with animals. This is scientifically proven to enhance social and emotional wellbeing.
2. Lack of a purpose-built animal training facility
The education opportunities offered through the hands-on purpose-built Learning Hub can improve social outcomes in relation to companion animal management and responsible pet ownership. The Albury Animal Care centre currently impounds around 1,400 dogs and 700 cats per year in Albury Wodonga.
3. Lack of availability for crisis care for pets
The inability to safely house companion animals can delay victims of family and domestic violence from fleeing or seeking help. There are very limited opportunities for crisis care of animals within the region. Emergency animal accommodation will provide support for domestic violence victims, giving them the safety and peace of mind that their animals will be cared for during a period of uncertainty and disruptive change. The purpose-built pens will provide temporary shelter and security for pets in family violence situations, with the end goal of reuniting each of them with their owners.
4. Climate impact and facility footprint and operation
With the assistance of the CBCIF funding, all elements of the construction will be enhanced through the provision of innovative sustainable design and landscaping enhancements to reduce the centre’s environmental footprint. Appropriate landscape design will install microclimatic conditions at the site to reduce impacts of the urban heat island effect and climate change.
5. Improving digital connectivity
The funding will allow greater capacity for innovative technology and security at the Animal Care Centre and Learning Hub. The proposed enhancements include improving and extending Wi-Fi coverage, CCTV cameras and hand-held devices to improve the customer experience. The improved digital connectivity will allow the installation of ‘smart technology’ to create greater security monitoring and a more efficient business.