Palaszczuk Government further protects environment with Special Wildlife Reserves

Queensland has become the first state in Australia to create Special Wildlife Reserves – a new category of protected areas.

On Wednesday the Palaszczuk Government delivered on another election commitment with the passage of legislation to better protect land of high conservation value.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said this legislation ensures more habitat is preserved, and increases Queensland protected area estate.

“Landowners and organisations who want to conserve Queensland’s biodiversity are now able to invest in this new class of protected area,” Mr Healy said.

“The new classification of protected area – Special Wildlife Reserves – will ensure private land of exceptional natural and cultural value can have the same level of protection as national park.

“This category of vital reforms – the first of their kind in Australia – are ensuring ecologically important areas are protected now, and into the future.”

Special Wildlife Reserves will be established by a voluntary agreement between the Queensland Government and landholders.

Mr Healy said incompatible land uses like mining and forestry would not be permitted on Special Wildlife Reserves.

“Management of these Reserves will be in accordance with strict statutory management principles and an approved management regime,” he said.

“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.”

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.

Since being elected in 2015, the Palaszczuk Government has increased the protected area estate in Queensland by more than one million hectares.

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