Flinders Karawatha Corridor—frequently asked questions

    What is the Flinders Karawatha Corridor?

    The Flinders Karawatha Corridor is recognised for its significant biodiversity, rural production, cultural heritage, scenic amenity and outdoor recreation values.

    The corridor extends 60 km from Karawatha Forest in Brisbane’s outer suburbs to south of Ipswich at Flinders Peak and on to the Wyaralong Dam near Boonah.

    Four local government areas fall within the corridor: Brisbane, Logan and Ipswich city councils, and Scenic Rim Regional Council.

    The corridor has been recognised in many local and regional planning studies and documents. As a result of this recognition, state and local governments have secured a number of critical parcels which are held in conservation reserves.

    To achieve the long-term protection of the corridor, the Queensland Government is continuing to work in partnership with key partners and the community.

    The Flinders Karawatha Management Strategy 2014–2019 represents the practical translation of the Flinders Karawatha Corridor vision statement, i.e.

    That the diverse landscapes of the Flinders Karawatha Corridor are identified, and managed to support the sustainability of its significant environmental, scenic, cultural, recreational, economic and tourism values, and the liveability and wellbeing of existing and future regional communities and landowners.

    As a landowner, how will the administrative boundary affect me?

    Defining the corridor with an administrative boundary will not impact on the existing rights of landholders as it does not introduce any new regulation. This includes committed development and existing rights and exemptions under the Vegetation Management Act 1999.

    What consultation has been undertaken in relation to planning for the corridor?

    Consultation and review of the administrative boundary, the vision statement and the Flinders Karawatha Management Strategy was undertaken over several years by the department and the Flinders Karawatha Regional Panel.

    Does definition of an administrative boundary change landholders' rights?

    Definition of an administrative boundary does not change current property rights and it does not introduce any new planning regulations. No landholder rights or subdivision regulations have been altered. All the existing land management activities undertaken by landholders, such as vegetation and weed management, can continue as long as they are consistent with existing local and state legislation. The administrative boundary has no impact on the existing Vegetation Management Act 1999 or any other regulation that relates to private land management. The boundary was determined for the purpose of identifying a landscape area for strategic investment in the future, not as a means for managing or controlling settlement patterns.

    Subdivision regulations are guided by the South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009–2031 and assessed by local government against the relevant local planning scheme. Please contact your local government authority to discuss any future plans for your property.

    What is the Flinders Karawatha Corridor Management Strategy?

    The strategy is a non–statutory framework that focuses project partners and the community on key activities that need to be undertaken to ensure the long-term protection and management of the regional landscape. Once completed, the strategy will describe priorities for coordinated management, including funding programs to provide incentives for landholders in managing their land.

    What role do landholders play?

    The majority of land in the Flinders Karawatha Corridor is privately owned. These landholders have a vital ongoing role in the protection, maintenance and restoration of the landscape. Many of the areas of high quality remnant habitat exist on private land. While local and state government have a role to play in managing their protected areas, landholders have a stewardship role on their own properties.

    Why is coordinated management important?

    Existing planning instruments, such as the South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009–2031, local government planning schemes and local laws protect many of the environmental and cultural heritage values by guiding development decisions. The ongoing coordinated management is about recognising and encouraging good land use practices, including restoration activities.

    Incentive programs to help fund private landholders to undertake environmental management activities on their property and reduce threats on environmental and cultural heritage values have been incorporated in the Flinders Karawatha Management Strategy.

    Other activities to be encouraged, where possible, include weed and pest management, vegetation restoration, domestic animal control, maintaining grass cover and fire management.

    Does it mean that I will have to stop grazing cattle on my property?

    No. If applicable, assistance may be offered to rehabilitate degraded areas of your property. Various conservation agreements, grant schemes and projects may be of interest to you.

    Further information is available through your regional NRM body.

    Can I still develop my land in the future?

    All development is subject  to the regulatory provisions of existing laws and planning schemes. Your development may be approved if it complies with these.

    No new regulatory mechanisms are being introduced and no existing property rights are affected.

    Is there a buyback or purchasing scheme?

    The management strategy does not identify any property buyback or purchasing schemes within the administrative boundary.

    If there are no endangered species on our property then what is the Queensland Government protecting?

    The protection is to stem any future fragmentation because it is the largest remaining continuous stretch of open eucalypt forest south of the Brisbane River in South East Queensland. While an individual property may not provide habitat for a particular species, it may provide a vital link to facilitate movement of wildlife across the landscape in order to acquire the resources necessary for survival: food, water and protective cover.

    The corridor as a whole provides ecosystem services (clean air, clean water, healthy landscapes, climate change mitigation) and arable land to the people and the environment of South East Queensland. These values contribute to the health and wellbeing of the people in the region.

    You talk about preserving precious bushland but then talk about recreational opportunities. How can you do both?

    The management strategy will identify priority actions for creating recreational opportunities in appropriate locations and areas that  are to be preserved or rehabilitated for wildlife.

    Will there be any incentives to encourage landholders to participate in preserving this corridor?

    Yes. There is a range of assistance and incentives that a landholder can receive for the protection and rehabilitation of vegetation and wildlife habitat. For more information on available incentives, read about the opportunities and benefits for landowners.

    When the government talks about protecting the corridor to preserve precious bushland, does this mean that our properties will be resumed for a national park?

    The Queensland Government has no plans to resume properties for the creation of national parks within the Flinders Karawatha Corridor.

    Who will manage the corridor?

    A large part of the corridor is owned and managed by private landholders who will continue to manage their own land. The Queensland Government will continue to work in partnership with local government and non-government organisations to prioritise and coordinate management strategies to sustain and enhance the environmental and cultural heritage values. For landholders this will mean opportunities to obtain assistance in managing properties and property held by government will be better managed.

    How will outdoor recreation be planned and managed?

    Outdoor recreation is recognised as an important and ongoing future use of land. Planning and designation of areas for different recreational activities will involve extensive consultation. It is important that new outdoor recreational facilities are sited and designed appropriately to minimise risk to high value areas and be respectful of the rights of existing residents. The planning for new recreational sites will be undertaken in conjunction with key groups and be aligned with the efforts of the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation. The development of outdoor recreation facilities represents a major local development opportunity for the region.

    Recreational facilities, such as walking trails, will be managed to minimise impacts on other corridor values.

    Illegal and uncontrolled vehicle access to bushland areas can rapidly degrade important ecological features through erosion of soil and spreading of weed species. Management of illegal and uncontrolled access into areas of high ecological value must be a priority for all land managers.