Nature Conservation Act Special Wildlife Reserves

Published: 1st April 2019

The Nature Conservation (Special Wildlife Reserves) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (the Bill) was passed with amendments on 27 March 2019.

  • Special Wildlife Reserves are essentially another protective area mechanism for use by private landholders and local governments that protects land from incompatible land uses over and above the level of protection offered under the existing Nature Refuge Program.
  • Special Wildlife Reserves are voluntary. Each landholder can choose if they wish to nominate their parcel of land or not.
  • Many concerns relate to the implications of the sale of land beyond the current owner. Once contractual arrangements are finalised, the land is considered a Special Wildlife Reserve in perpetuity.
  • The LGAQ submission on the Bill:
    • noted a ‘one-size-fits-all’ or mandatory approach in Queensland is not appropriate
    • recommended the establishment of clear guidelines regarding the assessment process (for transparency and accountability purposes)
    • recommended adequate resourcing of the Department of Environment and Science to administer and assess proposals
    • recommended funding and support for landholders, including financial support for the management of invasive plants and animals.
  • Local governments in Queensland play an important role in managing and securing protected areas and not only choose to enter into protected area agreements such as conservation covenants and nature refuges on their own land, but also encourage the uptake on privately owned land.
  • Private protected areas make an important contribution to Queensland’s protected area systems, particularly for the provision of landscape-scale linkages with public protected areas.

The LGAQ provided detailed comments on the draft exposure bill and a concise submission once the bill was introduced to parliament.