Fraser Coast council buys land to preserve rainforest
A 60 HECTARE property on the ridgeline at Takura has been purchased by the Fraser Coast council to add to the region's conservation network.
The property was bought using funds raised under the former Environment Levy.
"The council bought the land to preserve its environmental values and for the benefit and enjoyment of the community," Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said.
"The conservation reserve will provide many benefits for residents including access to almost undisturbed bushland for walking and birdwatching, as well as providing a refuge for native animals and plants - some of which are endangered."
The elevated site provides views of the surrounding countryside to Fraser Island and joins nearby state government reserves.
"The land is part of our living history," Councillor Jade Wellings said.
"It includes 25 hectares of eucalypt forest and rainforest which is a great representation of the original vegetation that once covered large parts of the Fraser Coast."
"There are not many rainforest areas left so it is very important that we preserve the area.
"It also provides us a window to our past and ability to monitor long term environmental changes.
"Because the forest is in excellent condition and a functioning ecosystem the ongoing management costs will be relatively low.
"And there is an opportunity for the existing farm buildings on the land to be used for community-based activities."
A comprehensive flora and fauna survey will be conducted to provide a full overview of the reserve's species diversity and a Cultural Heritage survey will identify and record Butchulla connection with the property.
The remaining 35 ha area consists of land cleared for grazing.
"The cleared land is already regenerating and will eventually return to its natural state," Cr Seymour said.
"Residents will have many opportunities to be involved in the property through research, restoration or simply visiting and experiencing nature."
Funds from the levy were also used to buy four other environmentally significant lots including two on the Piabla-Burrum Heads Road and two on River Heads Road.
The land on River Heads Road has significant habitat for the endangered black-breasted button-quail and vulnerable koala and includes endangered regional ecosystems and wetland areas.
At Beelbi Creek on the Pialba-Burrum Heads Road, the council bought 42 ha on two adjoining blocks which have rare flora such as Melaleuca cheelii, mature paperbark trees and vulnerable wallum froglets.
It also includes "Of Concern" regional ecosystems, wetland and is part of a State designated significant regional wildlife corridor.