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    Finance, Natural Resources and The Arts
    The Honourable Rachel Nolan

    Government announces 5 year vision for Flinders Karawatha Corridor

    Finance, Natural Resources and The Arts
    The Honourable Rachel Nolan

    Wednesday, November 09, 2011

    Government announces 5 year vision for Flinders Karawatha Corridor

    South East Queensland’s last remaining unprotected bushland corridor is to be preserved through a five-year vision announced by Natural Resources Minister Rachel Nolan today.

    Ms Nolan said the Flinders – Greenbank – Karawatha Corridor runs from Karawatha Forest in Brisbane’s south through the Greenbank Army Reserve and on to the Wyaralong Dam near Boonah.

    “At 60km in length, it is the largest stretch of open eucalypt bushland in South East Queensland and includes rare flora and fauna including brush tailed rock wallabies, koalas and native olives,” Ms Nolan said.

    “The land has a degree of protection through regional planning mechanisms but today’s move cements that protection. It is held in a mix of ownership from council nature reserves such as Karawatha in Brisbane to Ipswich’s White Rock Conservation Area to private landholdings.

    “The corridor abuts the future growth areas of Greater Flagstone and Ripley meaning its preservation creates unique recreational opportunities for SEQ’s major future population centres.”

    Ms Nolan said the corridor presented remarkable conservation and recreation opportunities for South East Queenslanders.

    “Brisbane’s northside has the remarkable bushland of Mount Glorious and Mount Nebo on its doorstep. Preserving this corridor means that the growing southern and western regions can become green communities too,” she said.

    “While government is already doing a great deal in the area to create outdoor recreation spaces such as the Mount Joyce Escape Park at Wyaralong Dam and the Boonah to Ipswich Rail Trail currently under construction, preservation of these lands mean that the whole region can ultimately provide recreational open space for South East Queenslanders.”

    The five year vision includes three distinct phases –

    1.Planning Protection for the corridor

    Between now and December consultation will be undertaken with landholders, councils, the development industry, rural industry and green groups around precisely defining the boundaries of the corridor. The area, once refined, will trigger provisions of the Regional Plan to prevent urban development within the corridor.

    It is expected that that protection can be applied by Easter 2012.

    2.Tenure Resolution for corridor

    The next step will be to determine how the publicly owned parts of the corridor are to be managed.

    Consultation on tenure and management operations could be finalised by late 2013, allowing time for proper involvement of the local councils which have already purchased critical bushland areas. It will also be necessary to consult with private landholders who may be willing to provide conservation protection or public access to their lands in exchange for that land being used as offsets for bushland lost elsewhere.

    3.Infrastructure Provision

    Properly opening up the corridor to public access will involve the provision of infrastructure such as wildlife bridges and walking tracks. This infrastructure will be provided over time as funds become available.

    The goal is to make the land connected for wildlife and people within five years.

    Consultation on the first stage of protection opens today and will run until mid-December 2011.

    Media Contact: 0400 367 174