Discussion on a Bill to establish Special Wildlife Reserves (a new class of privately-owned protected area) at an Agriculture & Environment Committee hearing has cleared up some confusion around the name and produced many interesting perspectives, including AgForce's fears over “locking up land”.
Highlighting the importance of the various land tenures in the protected area estate and the role they play in aiding endangered species, the estimated population of wild northern hairy-nosed wombats - one of the world's rarest species - has almost doubled since the successful reintroduction program commenced at the Richard Underwood Nature Refuge in 2009. There's more cause for celebration, with the arrival of the species' first joey recorded in Queensland for five years!
Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles has introduced a Bill to Queensland Parliament to create a new category of protected area: Special Wildlife Reserves. NPAQ President Michelle Prior looks at the increasingly important role played by private protected areas and cautions that there is potential for public protected areas to become more focused on nature-based recreation and tourism.