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Nature Conservation (Special Wildlife Reserves) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018

The Nature Conservation (Special Wildlife Reserves) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 introduces reforms that will provide for national park level protection to private lands of exceptional natural and cultural value. Special Wildlife Reserves will be established by a voluntary agreement between the State and a landholder in accordance with strict statutory management principles and an approved management regime. Crucially, incompatible land uses, including mining and forestry, will not be permitted in Queensland’s Special Wildlife Reserves, providing a level of investment confidence in private land which is not available anywhere else in Australia.

Protected areas are the most significant and visible means by which the people of Queensland seek to ensure the continued safeguarding of our internationally recognised and iconic biological diversity. In recent decades, the community has made an enormous contribution to the protection of Queensland’s biodiversity through the establishment of nature refuges—a class of private protected area of which we now have 504 refuges, covering almost 4.45 million hectares. Nature refuges are managed to conserve their significant natural and cultural values and, unlike special wildlife reserves, they allow for the continuation of a range of other sustainable land uses.

While the contribution of nature refuges and their landholders to our protected area estate is unquestionable, some parts of our unique landscape are deserving of and require a level of protection that recognises their exceptional natural and cultural values.

This bill seeks to fill a gap in Queensland’s protected area framework by providing a mechanism to deliver a high level of protection for areas of private land that have outstanding conservation values. In essence, this bill will allow for the protection of any area based on its inherent values and future conservation management, not on its ownership by the state.

The Nature Conservation (Special Wildlife Reserves) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 was introduced to Parliament by the Minister for Environment in February 2018.

The Bill is now scheduled for second reading, with further information available on the Queensland Parliament website.

Timeline – Nature Conservation (Special Wildlife Reserves) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018

  • 15 February 2018, the Nature Conservation (Special Wildlife Reserves) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 was introduced into the Queensland Parliament. The Bill was subsequently referred to the Innovation, Tourism Development and Environment Committee (the Committee).
  • 9 April 2018, the Committee tabled its report in relation to the Bill. The committee inquiry overview webpage contains further information about the committee process including the report and consultation undertaken by the committee.

The Government has considered and accepted the recommendations made by the Committee.

Last updated
24 December 2018