Prime land acquired for extended conservation estate

Ipswich City Council has purchased 65 hectares of prime conservation land at Woolshed, which will be added to the Mount Grandchester Conservation Estate.

Council had been working with the owners for some time and the acquisition was confirmed this month. The Ipswich Enviroplan Program and Levy funds will be used to purchase the land for a six-figure sum.

Mayor Teresa Harding said the land purchase will deliver on council’s commitment to preserve and protect our natural environment and cultural heritage, and create opportunities for environmental tourism.

“We are delighted to secure this land for the community. It is important not only for Ipswich, but for all of South East Queensland,” she said.

“This will increase the capacity for nature-based recreation activities and enhances visitor experience when the estate is activated and developed.

“It also secures and actively restores vegetation containing unique patches of rocky outcrops and habitat areas for significant species, including the vulnerable koala and glossy-black cockatoo.

“It will protect Aboriginal cultural heritage landscape values as well as aesthetic values along the regional significant Little Liverpool Range corridor.”

The council acquisition will double the width of the protected area for the north-south wildlife movement corridor at its narrowest “pinch” point to 1000m from the current 400m. Wider protected and managed corridors support safer movement for wildlife through the landscape.

It also increases the size of the Mount Grandchester Conservation Estate by 7 per cent to 1042ha.

Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee Cr Russell Milligan welcomed the acquisition.

“Larger protected and managed areas are critically important refuges for species, particularly when bearing in mind the cumulative impacts of climate change,” he said.

“This will enhance overall protection and sustainable uses of the natural environment within the city. It contains environmental significance and biodiversity values.

“The land’s acquisition and ongoing management protects its environmental values now and for future generations.”

It contains existing eucalypt forest as well as providing opportunity to restore previously cleared pasture land to a near historical remnant state.

The Mount Grandchester Conservation Estate has already seen the recent completion of a five-year project to plant and establish 12,500 koala habitat trees.

In addition, the Grandchester Koala Offset Project was delivered in partnership between Powerlink Queensland, Healthy Land and Water, and Ipswich City Council to rehabilitate 26ha of cleared grazing farmland as well as the establishment of a State Nature Refuge.

In recent years koala sightings have been increasing and the new acquisition will be valuable in broadening that habitat range in an important area for the species and many others, including glossy-black cockatoos.

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  1. It was with a heavy heart that we finally decided to hand our beautiful farm over to the trusted hands of the Ipswich City Council for permanent conservation and protection . We knew of its environment and cultural significance, which we guarded in secrecy for years, fearful of the never-ending intrusion threat from environmental vandals .
    To our disgust, we have witnessed the bulldozing and utter destruction of nearby forests by their owners who gave no thought or moral conscience to the environmental impact and destruction they were causing to this unique ecosystem. In tears we tried to save as many wildlife as we could find as they crawled away injured and bleeding with crush/degloving injuries and fractures . We would find them torn apart and either dead or dying on the road or in our property . We were frequent visitors to UQ Vet Hospital with injured native wildlife.
    It is imperative that our environmental laws be strengthened and farming practices be seriously reviewed and overhauled.
    With the growing national governance and accountability regarding livestock and farming practices, it may be timely to include mandatory ongoing education for those applying for national accreditation/NLIS/LPA/NVD registration.
    We will be forever grateful to the ICC for ensuring the permanent protection of this sensitive and irreplaceable ecosystem.

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