Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts logo
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts home page

Archived media releases and speeches


Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

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

3 October 2002

Rainforest Foundation Now Open for Preservation

The Wet Tropics World Heritage Ministerial Council today launched the Australian Rainforest Foundation's innovative land conservation program - inviting land owners, and green corporations to do their part to save the Daintree, an area surrounded by the Wet Tropics World Heritage area.

The Foundation, funded by the federal and state government, aims to encourage the community to acquire environmentally valuable parcels of land to preserve the natural values of Daintree.

The Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and the Queensland Environment Minister, Dean Wells, welcomed the Foundation's program to forge important partnerships between private individuals and companies.

Dr David Kemp said that the $1 million in funding received by the Australian Rainforest Foundation from the Council, would be a significant base level of funding that they could use to stimulate private sector involvement in land conservation in the area. The $1 million has been equally funded from the Commonwealth and State governments.

"The Australian Rainforest Foundation will purchase, protect and on-sell areas of land with significant conservation values to private sponsors,” he said.

"They will target land with perpetual natural values, placing it under a conservation covenant. These properties may be held for conservation, or resold to a purchaser who is aware of the conservation values involved and is prepared to manage the land accordingly. This system will protect the land forever, regardless of who owns it.

"The Foundation will use the proceeds from the sale of covenanted land to acquire more land in the area and will be under the guidance of the Wet Tropics Management Authority. Tax incentives are also available to companies and individuals who invest in land and dedicate it to conservation.”

Queensland Environment Minister, and Chairman of the Wet Tropics Ministerial Council, Dean Wells said all levels of government, federal, state and local government, as well as industry and the community were getting together to protect one of Queensland's most valuable environmental resources.

"The Australian Rainforest Foundation is experienced with this type of program, having recently purchased, covenanted and resold land in a critical cassowary corridor at Mission Beach to a conservation-minded individual,” Mr Wells said.

"The land is now protected by a conservation covenant which protects 97 per cent of the area as vital wildlife habitat.

"The Foundation will work closely with the local community and expects that the program will take up to 5 years to complete.”

The land conservation program is a recommendation of the Daintree Futures Study commissioned by the Ministerial Council.

Dr Kemp also thanked the Member for Leichhardt, Mr Warren Entsch, for playing a leading role in seeing that the idea behind the Foundation became a reality.

"I would like to acknowledge Mr Warren Entsch for providing much of the energy behind the establishment of the Foundation.

Media contacts:
Catherine Job (Dr Kemp) 02 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Sue Tierney (Minister Wells) 07 3225 1819 or 0419 679 354

Commonwealth of Australia