New protected areas on track as SEQ logging starts to wind up
We welcome the news that 2,548 hectares of former State Forest, including Ferny Forest on the Sunshine Coast, will be permanently protected from logging, grazing and mining.
A motion to start the process for the creation of these protected areas went through Queensland Parliament on Wednesday 11 October, 2023.
It is great to see the Palaszczuk Government taking actions consistent with its promise to end native forest logging in the region and double Queensland’s protected areas network to 17% of the state.
This is a great first step for endangered greater gliders, koalas and dozens of threatened species and ecological communities that rely on these forest ecosystems.
There is up to 70,000 hectares of public native forests in SEQ available for logging. We are calling on the Palaszczuk government to protect all public native forests across the region before October next year in line with previous commitments and policy.
QCC supporter and mountain bike rider Cameron Gibson lives in Narangba and grew up near Glasshouse Mountains, and has been riding in Ferny Forest and other SEQ forests for more than 30 years.
"It's awesome news Ferny is protected," Cameron said.
"I ride there often, and take mates there. I go out there now and feel like I'm 14 again - I love being in the bush.
"This area has the best local tracks for mountain biking, it's such a great thing for kids to get into so it'll be great to preserve them. It's amazing the animals you see in these forests, I've seen koala, pythons and even platypus are in some of these forests. They're really important."
The 2,548 hectares of new and expanded protected areas announced by Minister for Environment Leanne Linard last week include:
- 198 ha Wickham Timber Reserve - now part of the existing Plunkett Conservation Park
- 129 ha of Beerwah State Forest (including Ferny Forest) - now the new Mooloolah River Conservation Park
- 994 ha Deer Reserve State Forest is the new Deer Reserve Conservation Park
- 1150 ha West Cooroy State Forest is the new West Cooroy Conservation Park
- 61 ha of Luttons State Forest is now part of the existing Glass House Mountains Conservation Park
- 16 ha of Mount Mee State Forest is now part of the existing D'Aguilar National Park
For more information see the State Government media release.
Nicky Moffat is Queensland Conservation Council's Protected Areas Campaigner.