Send a letter to the Minister and let him know you want something done about the waste and mismanagement at WIRES.

He won't do anything until enough of you complain - otherwise he simply doesn't care.

Its easy: Add your name, your postcode, email address and press the button - we'll send it off to the Minister.

This is what your letter will say:

The Hon. Rob Stokes MP

New South Wales Minster for the Environment and Heritage

Via email

Regarding: WIRES NSW

Dear Minister,

As a voter in New South Wales who has an interest in the rights of animals and wildlife I humbly request that you take urgent action to consider the operation of WIRES and bring about changes to those operations. WIRES is a wildlife caring organisations under the control of your department and each year receives State Government grants.

Please take action in relation to the following:

  • Immediately alter the department’s stance on licensing wildlife rehabilitators to one where each rehabilitator is issued an individual licence. This way they can choose if they wish to belong to a wildlife organisation and choose to leave that group should they wish. In 2010 the licensing system was changed by the Office of Environment and Heritage to force wildlife carers to belong to a wildlife rehabilitation group. Only a single group is allowed to hold a licence in any area. Individual general licences are no longer issued, although this possibility still exists in legislation. This change in approach by your department has led to volunteers not disclosing malpractice for fear of being expelled from a group and thus losing their authority to care for native animals. Altering this will create a better, fairer and safer working environment for volunteer wildlife carers to undertake the valuable work of rehabilitating wildlife;
  • Legislation to make WIRES spend most of the money it receives from grants and donations on wildlife care. WIRES gains most of its money through on-line donations and appeals through the post. At the moment it only spends about 2% of that money on direct assistance to carers and animals;
  • Inquire into your department’s process of handling complaints made by the public regarding the care of native animals in the charge of WIRES. Many complaints have been made about WIRES over many years but your department has failed to audit WIRES or take seriously any complaints received;
  • Look into whether the drop in membership of WIRES is due to the mistreatment and under-resourcing of its volunteer members and WIRES’ focus on fund-raising rather that positive outcomes for injured and sick wildlife. Between 2009 and 2011 membership in WIRES dropped from over 3,000 to approximately 1,700. This is a rate of attrition near 50%. Something is obviously wrong in WIRES;
  • Investigate the claims made by volunteers from within WIRES that due to the ineffectiveness of the WIRES Call Centre native animals are being left to suffer and die. Volunteers claim to have personal knowledge of many incidents where animals reported as in distress are not rescued by WIRES due to the poor management of the WIRES Call Centre;
  • Set up a government authority to deal with complaints made by volunteers regarding their treatment within WIRES e.g. bullying, discrimination, unfair procedure, lack of grievance procedures. At the present time there is nowhere for volunteers to go to get assistance, unless they have a right under Workcover Legislation which in most cases volunteers have not;
  • Require WIRES to implement a democratic system to elect its Board of Management so that each member has the right to stand for election to the Board and every member has the right to vote in those elections;
  • Set up a process for donors, volunteers and members of the public to access details of the internal financial dealings of not for profit organisations;
  • Set up an authority which has the power to investigate the internal workings of charities.

WIRES Volunteers - Broke & Leaving

broke and leavingMembership is plummeting.

Over the last few years WIRES volunteers have been resigning in disgust. Some estimates reckon WIRES has lost nearly 50% of its membership. Something is very wrong.

Find out why the members are leaving