A brand new wildlife emergency response and education van for the south-west is making its debut at the Port Fairy Folk Festival's street fair today.
Koroit-based Mosswood Wildlife's critical new addition was made possible through federal and state funding from the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (Wildlife Heroes Bushfire Recovery program) and Community Support Fund.
Owner Tracey Wilson said the dual-purpose van would boost the volunteer-powered organisation's capabilities.
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"Its purpose is to respond to emergencies like bushfires and floods and will provide a veterinary room for vets and vet nurses to work out of," Ms Wilson said.
"It's got annexes that go all the way around it so it will have the ability to go off the grid. It has solar power and a generator, so it's an off-road van and the idea is if you've got a triage centre that is miles away from the disaster, this van will be able to setup much closer to it and people can stay on-site.
"It has a small bathroom, sleeping quarters, cooking area and the back area is fitted out for vets to use with an anaesthetic machine. It's also capable of holding animals in an airconditioned area."
Ms Wilson said she hoped to bring the van to schools in the near future.
"It has two big doors on the side of it with an in-built panel with a TV," she said.
"There are panels that open up and pull-down shelves for displaying things. The TV will run different programs, so the idea is we go to schools or markets or even Landcare and Coastcare days.
"It develops awareness and understanding of the environment and how important it is to not just the animals which live in it but us as well."
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