I support landholders who are working to support the environment, which is why I believe the Nature Refuges program is such a great thing - particularly in Outback Queensland.
The program has allowed hundreds of landholders from across the state to show their commitment to protecting our state’s natural assets, growing the program into Australia’s largest private protected area network at 4.4 million hectares.
However, many of those landholders are getting little support to manage their properties for conservation. In fact, over the past five years, the Queensland Government has provided, on average, only 25 cents per hectare to nature refuge landholders to manage their lands, with many landholders receiving no ongoing financial support at all.
More funding is needed in order to better support existing landholders to manage their lands 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 and sustain nature.
I call on you to support greater investment into our Nature Refuges program to support landholders to care for their land and protect wildlife and the landscapes of Outback Queensland.