The Palaszczuk Government has delivered the first stage of the $3.5 million Noosa Koala Corridor Project thanks to a Queensland first partnership between Department of Environment and Science (DES), Noosa Shire Council, Noosa Parks Association and HQPlantations Pty Ltd (HQP).
The State Parliament today (15 May 2019) approved the upgrade of nearly 360 hectares of the Yurol and Ringtail State forests which will be dedicated as national park following final approval from the Governor-in-Council.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government is committed to growing the protected estate in Queensland to deliver further protection for our native flora and fauna, particularly our iconic koala.
“The Yurol and Ringtail State forest upgrade project is the first of its kind in Queensland and demonstrates our continued commitment to explore innovative solutions for preserving the states biodiversity.
“I am so excited for this project, the Noosa Koala Corridor will deliver significant regional environmental, social and economic benefits and ultimately see an additional 2400 hectares of habitat achieve the state’s highest level of protection,” Ms Enoch said.
“What makes the project unique is that it allows protection and restoration activities to take place as timber harvesting in these forests is phased out over approximately five years.”
This first stage of the project will see 357 hectares of core habitat added to the Tewantin National Park.
“Before plantation establishment, these forestry areas supported regional ecosystems that are now endangered and of concern in South East Queensland.
“Their habitat values for koalas and other species of wildlife are of great importance to this state’s unique biodiversity, and it’s vital we protect and restore them.
“Thanks to this project we will now be able to conserve a vegetation corridor containing essential habitat for 25 threatened species and three near threatened species including, the giant barred frog, the Richmond birdwing butterfly, the Mary River cod, and of course the koala.
“This $3.5 million investment to retire the land from plantation forestry for conservation purposes is being jointly funded by the Department of Environment and Science (DES), Noosa Shire Council and Noosa Parks Association and HQ Plantations Pty Ltd.
“I commend and thank the Noosa Shire Council, Noosa Parks Association and HQP, who have worked with the Queensland Government to design and deliver this landmark partnership,” Minister Enoch said.