Pages tagged "Filter:Protected Areas"

Indigenous joint management delivers conservation success on Cape York as region surpasses 30% protection

Conservation groups have today welcomed the Queensland Government's continued investment in joint management of national parks on Cape York Peninsula and highlighted the importance of the $14.8 million funding for joint management in achieving state and national targets.

Read more

New National Park for Qld

Local conservationists have welcomed the announcement from Minister for Environment Leanne Linard of a new national park near Hughenden.

North Queensland Conservation Council Coordinator Crystal Falknau said:

"It's great to see one of north Queensland's hidden gems getting the attention it needs.

"These places are really important, culturally as well as for biodiversity conservation. Natural assets attract people to our region and we love to see our national parks celebrated."

Read more

Wildlife, parks benefit from budget spend

Conservationists say the Queensland State Budget is a step in the right direction for threatened wildlife and the new protected areas they desperately need.

More than $215 million will be spent on national parks, both expanding the protected areas estate, funding its management and supporting co-management with First Nations Peoples.

Read more

Hits and Misses in the 2023-24 Qld Budget

The 2023 Queensland budget, released this week, has been an opportunity for the state to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to protecting our climate, communities and nature for future generations.

Overall this budget is extremely positive for the state. With record investment in long-term infrastructure for renewable energy projects, immediate cost-of-living relief on energy bills for all households, and funding to increase national parks and prevent land clearing, there are many things to celebrate.

Much of this has been funded by a modest increase in royalties on the superprofits of Queensland coal companies, meaning those who contributed most to the climate and cost of living crisis are finally helping pay for the renewable energy solutions.

Read more

Win for nature in Queensland Budget as $300m committed to national park growth & management

The Queensland Conservation Council and the Pew Charitable Trusts today welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s $300 million investment in strengthening Queensland’s national parks. 

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Queensland Manager Andrew Picone said investments of this scale have the potential for massive outcomes for nature conservation in Queensland. 

“Today's announcement includes $200 million to buy more land for national parks.

"This means at least one million hectares of new protected areas thanks to today’s funding commitment.

“With an annual investment of $50 million over four years, we can expect to see some of Queensland’s most significant, threatened and underprotected landscapes added to our national park estate.

“Well-managed protected areas are the most effective way to safeguard biodiversity and bring threatened species back from the brink of extinction.” 

Nature Campaigner for the Queensland Conservation Council, Jon Ferguson said more national parks across Queensland protect vital habitat for threatened species and bring jobs in the tourism and land management sectors in regional Queensland.  

“Queensland is the most biodiverse state in Australia, so investing in new national parks means investing in making sure our native plants and animals are protected.

“Our state’s national parks support highly valued nature-based tourism while protecting exceptional wildlife and natural places.

“National parks contribute $2.7 billion to Queensland’s economy and support over 24,000 jobs, mostly in regional areas.

“As we rebuild Queensland’s economy, national parks have a critical role to play in delivering much needed employment, economic, health and environmental co-benefits.”

Today's commitment is in addition to the $40 million announced earlier this month for threatened species and includes the $38.5 million announced in March this year for the management and return of land of cultural and natural significance on Cape York to First Nations people. 

QCC and the Pew Charitable Trusts encourage the Queensland Government to negotiate new national parks with First Nations Peoples under the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent and to focus on the delivery of equitable joint management arrangements.

Contact: 

Hannah Schuch, 0434 796 566 

Andrew Picone, 0457 798 359

Jon Ferguson, 07 3846 7833


Independent report calls for protection of 70,000 hectares of State Forest in South East Queensland

In 2020, the Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) commissioned a desktop review of the conservation values of State Forests within the South East Queensland Planning Area. In October 2021, this report was provided to the Queensland Government in support of policy commitments to end native forest logging on public land throughout the region by 2024. 

In summary, the report identified 68,543 hectares across 19 state forests suitable for protection as national or conservation parks. The table below provides a list of the identified state forests and the consultant’s report is published on QCC’s website.

Included in the list of areas recommended for protection is Beerwah State Forest on the Sunshine Coast, earmarked for logging by the Palaszczuk Government in December last year. 

The proposed logging of Beerwah State Forest has emerged as a flashpoint for community opposition to native forest logging and calls to protect native forests across Queensland. 

“We have not seen this level of public opposition to logging native forests since the 1990s,” said the QCC’s Nature Campaigner, Jon Ferguson. “Logging Queensland’s native forests is out of step with community expectations '' 

“We need to see an immediate end to logging in South East Queensland and firm commitments to phase out logging on public land across the rest of the state,” said Jon Ferguson.  

“Protecting these state forests will help protect Queensland’s koala population,” said Narelle McCarthy, spokesperson for the Sunshine Environment Coast Council. “These forests are also home to other threatened species including the Glossy Black Cockatoo and the Greater Glider.” said Sunshine Coast Environment Council.  

“Protecting State Forests throughout Queensland is an undervalued opportunity to deliver vital conservation outcomes, saving unique ecosystems and 1000s of threatened species, many of which are found nowhere else,” said Jon Ferguson.

“There are already over 200,000 hectares of plantations in South East Queensland which supply wood for housing and construction. There is no reason to be logging native forests that could be new National Parks,” said Susanne Cooper, President of National Parks Association of Queensland. 

There are an estimated 68,543 hectares of State Forests recommended for protection within the SEQ Planning area. Providing national or conservation park protection for these areas would give effect to the Palaszczuk Government’s policy commitments to protect forestry land and end native forest logging in the SEQ Planning Area. 

To reach this figure our consultants used a methodology similar to that currently used by the Department of Environment and Science (DES) to rate the conservation value of specific land units.

Their methodology considered biodiversity values, regional ecosystems, climate resilience, adequacy, threatened species, connectivity, integrity and practicality.

The Queensland conservation movement is calling for a staged end to native forest logging on public land across the state and stronger regulation of forestry on private land. 


Table: State Forests Recommended for Protection

State Forest 

Size (ha)

Notes 

Beerburrum West

2517

Sections adjacent to Glasshouse Mountains NP 

Beerwah 

129

Lot 1 

Bellthorpe 

480

Links two sections of existing Bellthorpe NP 

Benarkin 

10,148

Sections adjacent to Belthorpe NP

D’aguilar

209

Area in western section

Deer Reserve 

2660

Excluding small area of plantation 

Delaneys Creek 

290

Important koala habitat 

Deongwar

4722

Area adjacent to Ravensbourne NP

Diaper

2179

Important part of Conondale complex 

East Nanango 

4185

North-east section 

Elgin Vale 

9638

Eastern section 

Imbil 1

8130

Southern section 

Jimna 

10,286

North-west section 

Luttons

183

Western section

Mt Stanley 1

103

Area adjacent Forest Reserve 

Peachester 

738

Koala habitat 

Squirrel Creek 

6615

Important part of Conondale complex 

West Cooroy 

1154

State biodiversity corridor, koala habitat 

Yabba State Forest 

15909

Important part of Conondale complex 

Total

68,543

Estimate only

 

For further information and comment, contact: 

Jon Ferguson, Nature Campaigner, Queensland Conservation Council

0431 470 328

Narelle McCarthy, Spokesperson, Sunshine Coast Environment Council

0424 465 487

Susanne Cooper, President, National Parks Association of Queensland

0423 783 022


From State Forests to Protected Areas

In 2020, the Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) commissioned a desktop review of the conservation values of State Forests within the South East Queensland Planning Area. In October 2021, this report was provided to the Queensland Government in support of policy commitments to end native forest logging on public land throughout the region by 2024. 

In summary, the report identified 68,543 hectares across 19 state forests suitable for protection as national or conservation parks.

Included in the list of areas recommended for protection is Beerwah State Forest on the Sunshine Coast, earmarked for logging by the Palaszczuk Government in December last year. The proposed logging of Beerwah State Forest has emerged as a flashpoint for community opposition to native forest logging and calls to protect native forests across Queensland.

 

Sign the petition to expand Protected Areas!

Read the full report here.



Untitled.png

Table: State Forests Recommended for Protection

State Forest 

Size (ha)

Notes 

Beerburrum West

2517

Sections adjacent to Glasshouse Mountains NP 

Beerwah 

129

Lot 1 

Bellthorpe 

480

Links two sections of existing Bellthorpe NP 

Benarkin 

10,148

Sections adjacent to belthorpe NP

D’aguilar

209

Area in western section

Deer Reserve 

2660

Excluding small area of plantation 

Delaneys Creek 

290

Important koala habitat 

Deongwar

4722

Area adjacent to Ravensbourne NP

Diaper

2179

Important part of Conondale complex 

East Nanango 

4185

North-east section 

Elgin Vale 

9638

Eastern section 

Imbil 1

8130

Southern section 

Jimna 

10,286

North-west section 

Luttons

183

Western section

Mt Stanley 1

103

Area adjacent Forest Reserve 

Peachester 

738

Koala habitat 

Squirrel Creek 

6615

Important part of Conondale complex 

West Cooroy 

1154

State biodiversity corridor, koala habitat 

Yabba State Forest 

15909

Important part of Conondale complex 

Total

68,543

Estimate only


Protected Areas Update

Queensland parks strategy will take 1,000 years to deliver at current rate 

Queensland conservation groups today released a progress report on the growth of the state’s national parks and private reserves. The report reviews the implementation of the Queensland Government’s Protected Areas Strategy 2020-30 over the 12 months since the strategy was released in October 2020. 

In the strategy, the Palaszczuk Government sets out a vision for a ‘world class’ protected area system, including a promise to double the area of protected land in Queensland from 8.2% to 17%, an increase of 15 million hectares. 

However, over the past 12 months, the Queensland Government has only protected 15,699 hectares in new national parks and nature refuges. 

“It will take nearly 1,000 years for the Palaszczuk Government to meet its protected area target at the current rate of expansion,” said Pepe Clarke, spokesperson for the Pew Charitable Trusts. 

“Queensland needs to expand and effectively manage its protected area network to conserve threatened species and prevent extinctions. Now, more than ever, we need bold action to protect our native wildlife,” said Andrew Picone, spokesperson for the Queensland Conservation Council.  

“To fulfil the Queensland Government’s vision of a world class protected area system, we need strong leadership and increased investment in national parks, private protected areas and Indigenous-led conservation”, said Susanne Cooper, President of the National Parks Association of Queensland.

“Queensland’s protected areas provide a vital haven for wildlife, underpin our nature-based tourism industry and provide world class recreation opportunities. Increased investment in the 2022 state budget will benefit regional communities by boosting tourism and providing meaningful work,” said Ms Cooper.

“There have been a number of very positive developments over the past year, including the declaration of the Glen Rock National Park and Conservation Park and the return of five national parks to traditional owners,” said Mr Picone.

“Conservationists warmly welcome the historic return of the Daintree, Hope Island, Ngalba Bulal and Kalkajaka (Black Mountain) National Parks to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji People and Gheebulum Kunungai (Moreton Island) National Park to the Quandamooka People,” said Mr Clarke.

A copy of the Progress report is available here. 

 


Investment needed to save Queensland’s World Heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests Reserves

Fires that began in the Gold Coast Hinterland on 6 September 2019, eventually burnt 21,150 hectares across three national parks in Queensland’s World Heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests of Eastern Australia. 

While homes and livelihoods were lost, the fires also burnt through ancient ecosystems, reducing towering rainforest trees to ashes. 

Two years on, only $1.65m has been invested in repairing the rainforests of South East Queensland by the Federal Government. 

A report commissioned by QCC revealed the estimated cost of restoring the rainforests burnt during the 2019 fires could be as much as $42 million over ten years, focussing on the control of invasive environmental weeds. 

Sign the petition to double Queensland's protected areas

In less than one day it that fire destroyed the Binna Burra Lodge, and was burning its way through the region's iconic national parks and world heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests Reserves.  

While many homes and livelihoods were lost, the fires were wreaking environmental havoc, penetrating ancient ecosystems and reducing towering rainforest trees to ashes. 

This was the first of many fires in the summer of 2019-2020 that devastated the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, a World Heritage Area (WHA) of 366,507 hectares, encompassing 41 national parks across eastern New South Wales and South East Queensland. 

In Queensland, the Gondwana Rainforests WHA are the traditional homelands of the Danggan Balun People (Five Rivers People) and Yuggera Ugarapul People.

Mount Barney, part of the Gondwana Rainforests World Heritage Area, burning in September 2019. Photo: Ben Blanche

Fire Recovery 

The Queensland part of the Gondwana Rainforests WHA is 59,223 hectares - largely made up of Lamington, Springbrook, Mount Barney and Main Range National Parks. 

Approximately 21,150 hectares, 36% of Queensland’s World Heritage Area, were burnt across Mount Barney, Lamington and Main Range National Parks.     

Two years on, Federal government restoration initiatives have invested millions in post-fire recovery. This includes $4m for the rainforests of South East Queensland with $1.65m to support the recovery of rainforest ecosystems affected by the 2019 fires in the Gondwana Rainforest World Heritage Area. 

Underinvestment Revealed  

While the investment is welcome, an independent report commissioned by the Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) reveals that a preliminary estimate of $42 million over ten years is required to adequately protect the burnt rainforests from invasive environmental weeds.

Dr Sean Foley provided QCC with a detailed report on the management and resource needs of Queensland’s Gondwana Rainforests WHA - identifying not only funding needs to manage post-fire weed invasion but ongoing issues related to inadequate resourcing, the loss of ecosystem services and the accelerating impacts of climate change including an increasing fire risk. 

Rainforest at Risk 

The Gondwana Rainforests WHA includes ecosystems supporting ancient lineages of plants that date back millions of years to the time of the southern supercontinent Gondwana. This includes primitive flowering plants, thought to be some of the first to evolve approximately 60 million years ago. 

In late 2020 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) delivered to UNESCO its third full assessment of the Gondwana Rainforests WHA – elevating its status from ‘Good with some Concerns’ in 2017 to one of ‘Serious Concerns’ in late 2020. 

Their findings were primarily based on growing long-term concerns about declining conservation management of world heritage values (e.g. relict species and ecosystems) and impact of the 2019 bushfires.

QCC Recommendations 

To the Queensland Government:

  1. Increase investment in the management and maintenance of natural and cultural values within the national park estate that makes up Queensland’s part of the World Heritage Area.
  2. Provide long-term funding for the recovery of rainforests and other ecosystems adversely affected by the 2019 fires on the Gondwana Rainforest WHA. 
  3. Prioritise the management and maintenance of the world heritage values within the Gondwana Rainforests World Heritage Area. 

 

To the Federal Government:

  1. Commit to long-term and increased investment in post fire recovery of world heritage listed rainforests and threatened habitats and ecosystems including the critically endangered lowland rainforests of subtropical Australia. 

Further Information and Media Enquiries: 

Andrew Picone, Protected Areas Campaign Coordinator, Queensland Conservation Council [email protected]