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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Queensland Environment Minister
Dean Wells

1 November 2002

New Protection for Magnetic Island Biodiversity Through Community and Government Partnership

Biodiversity on Magnetic Island will be better protected as a result of Federal and State Governments joining forces with the Magnetic Island Nature Care Association (MINCA) to protect a sensitive parcel of land at Bolger Bay on Magnetic Island with $165,000 of funding.

Purchase of the land was supported with $100,000 from the Howard Government’s Natural Heritage Trust’s National Reserve System Program, $45,000 from Queensland’s Coastal Acquisition Fund and $20,000 from MINCA.

The acquisition was announced today at Magnetic Island by local Federal member Mr Peter Lindsay, representing Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Dr David Kemp and Mr Mike Reynolds representing Queensland Environment Minister Dean Wells.

"I am delighted to see such commitment from private organisations such as the Magnetic Island Nature Care Association to help protect and conserve Australia’s unique environment. It is with the partnership of conservation-minded businesses and individuals that we can make the most progress in this huge and vital task of protecting our most precious areas for present and future generations," Dr Kemp said.

The acquisition of the 17-hectare block on the western side of the island provides protection to significant areas of lowland habitat that have been under the highest pressure for development. The area comprises unique combinations of eucalypt woodlands on sandy soils that are home to rare and threatened species of fauna such as the Single-Striped Delma, a legless lizard, and the Rusty Monitor, a small goanna that inhabits seasonal swamps and coastal areas.

He said MINCA would act as sole trustee for the land after its proclamation as a conservation park by the state under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, later this year.

This funding comes from the Private Land Component of the National Reserve System Program that aims to increase the level of representation of the National Reserve System through the contributions of community groups, industry bodies and local governments. Since its establishment in 1998-1999, 39 private land projects totalling 581,000 hectares have received a total of $15 million in support through the National Reserve System Program.

Mr Wells said the acquired land included woodlands, seasonally swampy depressions, creeks, sand dunes, mangroves and semi-permanent wetlands.

"While more than 50 percent of Magnetic Island is already protected as national park, lowland habitats are poorly represented within national park boundaries.

"Sandy lowlands are the areas most in need of protection and this is a step toward protecting some of these areas on the island.

"The land is bordered by two of four private properties that have already been listed under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 as nature refuges, helping landowners ensure their permanent protection.

"While more than 50 percent of Magnetic Island is already protected as national park, this lowland habitat will enhance the Magnetic Island protected area," Mr Wells said.

Media contacts:
Catherine Job - Dr Kemp's office (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Annastacia Palaszczuk - Dean Wells office (07) 3225 1819 or 0419 679 354

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