The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has welcomed state government funding to help farmers undertake projects to protect and enhance the conservation value of the nature refuges on their properties.
Following continued advocacy by landholders, farming and pastoral bodies, natural resource management, and aboriginal and conservation organisations, this assistance is another positive step in recognising the practical conservation work farmers undertake on their land.
QFF CEO Dr Georgina Davis said Queensland had the largest private protected area network in Australia, with over 500 landholders managing a total of 4.5 million hectares for conservation through the Nature Refuges Program.
“Queensland farmers are responsible land managers and play an essential role by actively engaging in managing wildlife habitat on their land through weed and feral animal control, provision of wildlife corridors and replanting native trees,” Dr Davis said.
“However, farmers receive little, if any, recompense for their efforts. The announcement of grants between $2,500 and $20,000 for nature refuge landholders presents an opportunity to achieve much-needed conservation outcomes for the benefit of all Queenslanders.”
“While this is welcome news, further funding will be needed for future program expansion and delivery so as not to compromise the potential of the Nature Refuges Program.”
“In the meantime, QFF is encouraging eligible farmers to apply for a Nature Refuge Landholder Grant to conserve important environmental and biodiversity values while ensuring the sustainable and productive use of farming land.”
For more information about the Nature Refuge Landholder Grants Program and to apply, visit: www.qld.gov.au/environment/parks/protected-areas/private/landholder-grants.