Investing in Nature Refuges

Nature refuges are a form of private protected area. They're a voluntary agreement between the Queensland Government and a private landholder, designed to protect the natural values of private land. Under a nature refuge agreement, the landholder commits to protecting the significant conservation values of their land, but compatible and sustainable use of the land is able to continue.

The landholder can access modest funding for agreed conservation projects, such as fencing off sensitive areas from stock, management of feral animals and weeds or to install water infrastructure. The Nature Refuges Program is a highly-successful program and the fastest growing part of Queensland’s protected area network. Over the past decade, more than 500 Queensland landholders have chosen to dedicate part of their land for conservation, covering a total area of more than four million hectares.

Among those are large pastoral stations, which account for more than 70 percent of Queensland’s private protected lands. Three of the largest nature refuges are on stations— Holroyd, Bulloo Downs, and Rutland Plains—and protect more than 728,000 hectares of tropical savanna, woodlands and native grasslands.

However, funding hasn’t kept pace with the rapid growth rate of the program, and there is now not enough funding to provide support for landholders to manage their lands or to encourage new landholders to enter the program.

The limited investment in recent years presents a threat to the program’s sustainability and future growth. Increased investment in this successful program is vital to support landholders to care for their land, and expanding Queensland’s protected areas.

Ask our politicians to back our Outback and invest in Nature Refuges

Queensland's successful Nature Refuges program supports landholders to achieve conservation outcomes while still earning a living from their land. This helps Outback communities gain some of the extra resources they need to tackle threats including feral animals, noxious weeds and uncontrolled wildfires. 

The program has been highly successful with more than 500 landholders choosing to participate and a majority of Queenslanders saying they’d like to see it expanded.*

But funding hasn’t kept up the pace with the growth of the program, threatening its future. 

Further investment is needed to ensure the Nature Refuges program can continue to deliver for people and nature.

Help create new nature refuges – tell the Government to invest in this program and support people to care for their land.

Sign the petition to Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch and Treasurer Jackie Trad, CC your local MP, asking them to support people and nature in Outback Queensland by increasing funding for our nature refuges program.

*Galaxy Research, November 2017



Sign the Nature Refuges Petition

    Dear Environment Minister, Treasurer and [your local MP’s name will be automatically entered],

    I’m one of the 84 percent of Queenslanders who support the funding provided by the Queensland Government to nature refuge landholders to protect wildlife habitat, control feral animals and remove invasive weeds. (Galaxy Research, November 2017)

    Queensland's Nature Refuges program allows landholders to voluntarily protect their land for the future - achieving conservation outcomes, while still being able to earn livelihoods from their land.

    The program is a win-win situation and deserves the great reputation it’s gaining through our community.

    However, more funding is needed in order to better support existing landholders and encourage new ones to get involved.

    The health of our Outback is currently under threat. Feral animals and noxious weeds are spreading rapidly, while destructive fires threaten property and nature. We need to see more investment in programs that support both people and nature to manage those threats.

    I call on you to invest more funding into our Nature Refuges program to help achieve great outcomes for landholders, wildlife and the landscapes of Outback Queensland.

    Yours faithfully,
    [Your name will be automatically added]

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