Today, Federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks MP announced that a re-elected Morrison Government will commit $580,000 to assist in building a venom production facility at the Australian Reptile Park. The Australian Reptile Park is the sole supplier of terrestrial snake venom to produce antivenom in Australia. The program has saved more than 25,000 lives since its inception in the 1960s.

The Government support of the lifesaving antivenom facility will assist the Australian Reptile Park in development of the facility, but also community not only at a local and state level, but also nationally. Anyone bitten anywhere in Australia receives antivenom from the Australian Reptile Park. It is the only facility in Australia that milks terrestrial snakes for venom to make into antivenom.

Director of the Australian Reptile Park said of the program “The Australian Reptile Park’s antivenom has been saving Australian lives since the 1960s, this is compliments to the Australian Governments over the years by making the administering of antivenom free in Australia. The Australian Reptile Park is the jewel of the Central Coast and support from Lucy Wicks MP over the last decade has not only benefitted the Reptile Park, but community and region.”

Mr Faulkner continued “The Australian Reptile Park is both a national and international tourism attraction famous across the globe that connect visitors with wildlife. We are also a community organisation and saving lives remains a core part of our activities, which is supported by Lucy Wicks and Adam Crouch.”

Adding to Mr Faulkner’s comments, Federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks MP said the new Venom Precinct will allow for upgraded safety, animal welfare, biosecurity, and equipment integrity, while also helping to educate the community about venom production.

“The Australian Reptile Park do fantastic work with their antivenom program, saving approximately 300 Australian lives per year,” Ms Wicks said.

“Because we have a strong economy, we can back the Australian Reptile Park to expand on this great work in an Australian-first facility to ensure a secure supply of venom to be used to produce antivenom across our country.” She concluded.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch welcomes the announcement made today of a $580,000 commitment made by the Federal Member for Robertson Lucy Wicks, which adds to the $300,000 of funding being provided by the NSW Government to the Australian Reptile Park.

“The vital work being done by the Australian Reptile Park as the sole supplier of venom to the commonwealth serum laboratories, helps save lives right across our nation and I am delighted to confirm that the State Government is providing funding for this life saving project,” Mr Crouch said.

Mr Crouch continued “In addition to providing a lifesaving community service the Australian Reptile Park is known as a multi award winning wildlife tourism operator. Providing vital jobs to Central Coast locals and attracting over 300,000 visitors to our region.”

A total of 5 staff will work in this facility with capacity to grow this staffing if needed. The construction and fit out is anticipated to take a maximum of 12 months once ground has been broken. The Australian Reptile Park is contributing $775,000 and the NSW Government is contributing $300,000 for this project.