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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Environment Minister announces Special Wildlife Reserve to protect private land

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Sunday, October 30, 2016

    Environment Minister announces Special Wildlife Reserve to protect private land

    The Queensland Government is preparing changes to legislation that will create a new “top shelf” class of protected area, called a Special Wildlife Reserve.

    Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said today (Sunday) the proposed amendments to the Nature Conservation Act 1992 would protect private land of outstanding conservation significance from activities that may affect their natural values.

    “The laws that the Palaszczuk Government will deliver next year will create entirely new opportunities for charities, the community and the private sector to partner with the government to add value to conservation,” Dr Miles said.

    “What is going to be created here is a new top-shelf offering where private funders will be able to create reserves of land which have the same legal status and protection as a national park.

    “Special Wildlife Reserves will help to conserve and protect the diversity of plants, animals and ecosystems found in Queensland,” he said.

    Dr Miles said the amendments would protect land that contributed to a “comprehensive, adequate and representative protected area estate’.

    “Special Wildlife Reserves will also provide a secure environment for conservation organisations and philanthropists seeking to invest in the protection and management of Queensland’s outstanding natural areas,” he said.

    “Potential impacts on other interests in land, including native title, have been identified and will be addressed through legislative amendments”.

    Not-for-profit Queensland Trust for Nature general manager Nerida Bradley applauded the Palaszczuk Government “for its forward thinking”.

    “This is an extremely positive move in terms of providing a much higher level of protection for biodiversity on private land,” Ms Bradley said.

    “When private landholders want to work with Government to protect parts of their land, these changes will really improve the tools in the government’s toolbox.

    “At the moment the highest level of protection is only available when State owned land is set aside as national park, and these changes acknowledge the importance of protecting privately owned land of equal significance to Queensland’s bio-diversity.

    “That puts Queensland ahead of the rest of the nation to some degree,” she said.

    Dr Miles said further consultation on the proposed legislation will be undertaken with stakeholders prior to debate, in addition to upcoming public consultation on a broader protected area strategy for Queensland.

    “This will be an opportunity for business to contribute to work that ordinarily the State Government does,” Dr Miles said.

    “Many businesses are not just looking to tick a box and comply with the obligation to plant trees that replace trees that they cut down. They want to know the contribution they are making will last in perpetuity.”

    ENDS

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