Waterways Wildlife Park inspected by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Jodi and Colin Small are hopeful Waterways Wildlife Park will reopen.
Jodi and Colin Small are hopeful Waterways Wildlife Park will reopen.

Waterways Wildlife Park is one step closer to opening its gates again.

A promising visit from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has left Colin Small and his daughter Jodi feeling “positive” about the future of the much-loved park, which was closed by NSW DPI in April.

Four inspectors – including the head of National Parks, Peter – spent 3.5 hours at the park on Thursday to determine whether  a Native Animal Keeper Licence should be granted to Waterways.

Ms Small said the inspectors viewed the 10 acres of park land, assessing the condition of animals and their living quarters. 

“It went very well,” Ms Small said.

“They were really genuine and really happy with everything.

“[Peter] could see how well the animals were fed and the quality of the cages.”

The Smalls said National Parks would send them a report in about a fortnight to let them know if they were successful. If they obtain the licence, the Smalls and Colin’s grand-daughter, Cindy Whitfield, will apply to the DPI for a public exhibition licence.

All going well, Mr Small said they hoped to re-open to the public before Christmas.

It’s good news for the Smalls who have suffered the recent loss of Nancy, a wildlife warrior married to Colin for almost 50 years. She died on August 25 at the age of 69.

Mr Small said he was feeling good about the visit and felt that Peter knew their purpose.

“I’m feeling really hopeful after today,” he said.

“He could see that we weren’t here to make a profit.

“We’re here for the people and the animals.”

Ms Small said she had been working hard with her father and Ms Whitfield to ensure the park met required standards both on paper and on the ground. Recent labour has even seen a new koala enclosure constructed, with water misters and ventilation holes in the soil, and Bruce McKellar has offered a continual supply of gum leaves,

But more hands make light work, so the park is calling for more volunteers to help during the week.

To help out, phone Waterways Wildlife Park on 6742 1826.