Monday, May 23, 2022

Qld boosts eco-parklands on southern Gold Coast

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The Queensland government will transform a newly acquired 148-hectares on the southern Gold Coast into one of the nation’s most expansive eco-parklands.

The Currumbin Eco-Parkland, will see local native flora and fauna protected from encroaching development, including the preservation of koala habitat at the site.

Community pressure, including more three decades of campaigning from Friends of Currumbin, led the government to enter negotiations to with the owners of the Piggabeen Road site, which eventually resulted in the compulsory acquisition of the land after a deal could not be reach.

“The community’s message was clear, they asked us to protect and preserve this beautiful property and its unique, natural features and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” said Steven Miles, deputy premier and minister for state development.

The government has also announced plans for enhancing the land, depending on community consultation the site could eventually host infrastructure for recreational activities such as hiking, bushwalking and mountain biking, picnics or rehabilitation space for both wildlife and bushland.

“Community consultation on the future of the site will be key. The next steps will be seeking initial community views on the site and how it should be used to ensure that the project will deliver on community needs,” added Miles.

The acquisition will add to the Queensland government’s $1.4 billion budget for the environment and COVID-19 economic recovery.

“We’ll work closely with the whole community on this important project – just like we have through our other nature refuges and protected areas,” said Meaghan Scanlon, minister for environment and member for Gaven.

The acquisition follows the Queensland government’s return of the Daintree National Park to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people, as part of 160,000 hectares of land in Cape York being placed under management of First Nations people.

Meanwhile, the New South Wales government has spent $30 million acquiring nearly 167,000 hectares of land for its national park estate, which will offer greater protections for native flora and fauna, including the endangered Australian bustard, fat-tailed dunnart, and the dusky hopping mouse.

An important aspect of the newly protected site includes the preservation of 46-hectares of endangered blackbutt forests.

“Friends of Currumbin now look forward to working closely with the government and other major stakeholders to bring about the best environmental, recreational, cultural, and eco-tourism opportunities on this site for the benefit of our local and wider communities,” said Peter Kershaw, president of Friends of Currumbin.

The landowners of the site will be compensated for the site in accordance with the Acquisition of Land Act 1967.

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