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

Nature Refuges

Third-generation property owners Barry and Tammy Hughes run North Head station in North Queensland. Their property is 75,800 hectares - 18,573 hectares of which is a declared nature refuge.

Barry explains why the program is so important. 

"The Nature Refuges program has been a big success for the people who live in, and manage, Outback Queensland. It helps permanently protect the natural values of our land but also allows property owners to continue to graze and earn a living from it.

For us, getting the nature refuge on our property has been a big achievement

But as you can imagine, important work like managing weeds, feral animals or simply maintaining fences to keep stock away from sensitive areas is a huge and costly job on an Outback nature refuge.

After signing up to the program, Tammy and I were initially able to access some modest funding that helped us improve management at North Head.

We constructed fencing and managed ecologically-sensitive areas of the property, and we installed new watering points to keep both cattle and feral animals away from the natural springs and waterholes.

However, since that first round, there’s been no more funding made available - leaving us limited in what we can achieve for conservation.

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.

Landholders in Outback regions need support. We need boots on the ground in local areas -- people who can provide advice and help achieve conservation and land management goals. We also need financial support to help with the huge job of managing vast areas for conservation."

With over 500 landholders managing 4.4 million hectares, there’s no doubt the Nature Refuges program has huge potential! But landholders like Barry and Tammy can’t be left to do all the work.

Will you add your name to call on the Government to better support nature refuge landholders to care for their land?

 

 

Sign the Nature Refuges Petition

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

    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.

    Yours faithfully,
    [Your name will be automatically added]

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