RSPCA South Australia has set its sights on Glenthorne Farm, at O’Halloran Hill in Adelaide’s south, as the potential location for its proposed $20 million new Animal Care Campus.
Chief Executive Officer Paul Stevenson said the not-for-profit had undertaken a rigorous search for possible sites across southern Adelaide and had identified a small section of the Glenthorne Farm site as the ideal location, because of its visibility and accessibility.
“We’ve enjoyed tremendous support from the southern community and many of our 2000 volunteers come from the region. We understand Glenthorne Farm is much-loved by the community and would like to work with them to achieve our respective goals for animal welfare and for preserving Glenthorne Farm as open space,” Mr Stevenson said.
“In fact, we would only need 4 hectares of land to realise our vision – just 2% of Glenthorne Farm’s overall 208 hectares.”
With its Lonsdale shelter the most out-dated RSPCA facility in Australia and not suited for redevelopment, RSPCA South Australia’s vision is to develop a purpose-built Animal Care Campus where new care, education and training programs and facilities can be introduced to prevent cruelty to animals.
“We plan to invest $15 million into this facility, from our own reserves and through community fundraising. We are seeking $5 million in funding support from the State Government – an investment with three-fold return for the government,” Mr Stevenson said.
RSPCA South Australia last month announced its plan to move its Lonsdale shelter and Stepney office into one location, and add further services to its operations.
Mr Stevenson said feedback from subsequent community consultation had shown RSPCA supporters and the broader community overwhelmingly support the not-for-profit’s new direction.
Both the Liberal and Labor parties have revealed their plans for Glenthorne Farm ahead of the March state election, and Mr Stevenson said he believed RSPCA’s Animal Care Campus would be compatible with both those visions.
RSPCA South Australia has now launched a petition to help demonstrate to Members of Parliament that broad support exists for its proposed campus at Glenthorne Farm.
“It’s pleasing that both political parties have plans to use the Glenthorne Farm land for community open space and revegetation projects. A lot of credit for this outcome has to go to the Friends of Glenthorne Farm and their lobbying efforts over the past 20 years,” Mr Stevenson said.
“We’ve had discussions with the Friends of Glenthorne Farm about how we can complement their vision for the land, and we’re interested in working together on revegetation projects at the property.
“The new Animal Care Campus will allow us to provide the best possible care for neglected and abused animals, and the planned community-based training and education programs will reach more South Australians, helping to prevent animal suffering before it occurs.
“Unfortunately we continue to see the need for our work every day – in the past financial year our team responded to more than 4,200 reports of animal cruelty, most of which were caused by people not understanding animal needs and therefore highlighting the need for more education.”
RSPCA South Australia’s petition can be found at: www.rspcasa.org.au/glenthornefarm/