Up to 2400 hectares of former plantation land will be added to the Tewantin National Park north of Brisbane to protect native wildlife and rehabilitation under native management.
Jointly purchased by the state government, Noosa Parks Association and Noosa Council, the old Yurol Ringtail State Forest becomes a protected area for major revegetation works announced by Minister for the environment Meaghan Scanlon on Tuesday.
The goal in 2018 was to double the size of the Tewantin National Park with the organisation Greenfleet working with the Kabi Kabi people in restoration of the land.
On Tuesday, the minister said the partnership agreement with the Kabi Kabi people and Greenfleet works towards ensuring protection for native species and future generations
“To make sure that this national park is protected going forward,” Ms Scanlon said.
“The final harvest of pine and hardwood plantation timber in the state forest is expected to be completed soon, and following that the plantation areas will be revegetated with native species and the restored habitat progressively added to Tewantin National Park.”
The Kabi Kabi Peoples will work closely with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to manage the Tewantin National Park, with Greenfleet investing up to $4.5 million in this project and securing the exclusive right to benefit from associated carbon offsets for 30 years.
Greenfleet CEO Wayne Wescott said their climate action work and restoration will be in accordance with the Kabi Kabi people to create training and employment opportunities.
“This project will reduce the impacts of climate change at an incredible scale – sequestering hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions,” Mr Wescott said.
“Firstly, carbon sequestration, the important climate action that our country and globe needs is to sequester, remove 700,000 tons of carbon.
“We’re going to do that by recreating koala habitat in particular. This is really important because we continue to lose koala habitat around the country.
“So we need to create new koala habitat that will assist our endangered species to thrive into the future for our kids and our grandkids. And thirdly, the other really important issue in our country is indigenous reconciliation.”
Chair of the Kabi Kabi Peoples Aboriginal Corporation Norman Bond said he looked forward to working with Greenfleet and Noosa Landcare in training and future employment opportunities.
“Our goal now is to progressively increase the management role of Kabi Kabi people in working with QPWS over our National Park country,” he said.
Greenfleet will combine the sequestering of carbon emissions with a direct revenue stream for traditional owners, Mr Wescott added.