March 28, 2019
Queensland has become the first State in Australia to create Special Wildlife Reserves – a new category of protected areas – to preserve more habitat for wildlife.
The State Government passed legislation on Wednesday aimed at better protecting land of high conservation value.
The Special Wildlife Reserves will be voluntary, with private landholders entering a binding agreement with the State to conserve the land.
Mining and forestry activities will be banned on any land declared as Special Wildlife Reserves
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said landowners and organisations who want to voluntarily look after Queensland’s biodiversity are now able to invest in this new class of protected area.
“Special Wildlife Reserves will provide National Park level protection for private land of exceptional natural and cultural value,” Ms Enoch said.
“This is another way for landholders to contribute to conserving Queensland’s unique biodiversity, without the need to hand their land over to the State.
“These vital reforms – the first of their kind in Australia – are ensuring ecologically important areas are protected now, and into the future.”
Ms Enoch said Special Wildlife Reserves would be established by a voluntary agreement between the State Government and landholders.
“These Reserves will have the same protections as our National Parks, meaning incompatible land uses like mining and forestry, will not be permitted in them,” she said.
“Management of these Reserves will be in accordance with strict statutory management principles and an approved management regime.
“The Palaszczuk Government will also work in partnership with First Nations peoples in this process, and we will ensure no obligations or restrictions are placed on native title parties that would interfere with the exercise of native title rights.
“Under this legislation, landholders will be able to attract investment from conversation organisations, from Australia and overseas, to support their efforts in managing Special Wildlife Reserves.