Valuable habitat for the endangered mahogany glider has been added to Girringun National Park after a 56.49-hectare land transfer by the Palaszczuk Government.
Minister for Environment Meaghan Scanlon said the former Powerlink Queensland site on the south-eastern park boundary had very high conservation values and was critical for protecting Queensland’s unique biodiversity and threatened species.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to enhancing the state’s protected estate and the Department of Environment and Science (DES) is continuously working on securing suitable parcels of land either via the transfer of State lands or by purchasing leasehold or freehold properties,” Ms Scanlon said.
“This parcel of land was transferred to the department by transmission network provider Powerlink, as part of the offset requirements for its essential Ingham to Tully transmission line replacement project.
“Ninety-eight per cent of the property is covered by remnant native vegetation that is ideal mahogany glider habitat.”
Minister Scanlon said mahogany gliders were found in a narrow, patchy strips of habitat in the Wet Tropics region of North Queensland and the clearing of vegetation was its greatest threat.
“As they are highly mobile animals, gliders need continuous vegetation cover to range freely,” she said.
“From a management perspective, the property contains two endangered and one of concern regional ecosystems and 91 per cent is listed as State habitat for endangered, vulnerable or near-threatened species.”
Minister for Energy Mick de Brenni said the preservation of the Wet Tropics was a significant and historic Labor achievement.
“Bob Hawke declared this region a World Heritage Site in 1988 despite steep opposition from the Bjelke-Petersen-led Queensland Nationals,” Mr de Brenni said.
“In fact, a copy of Prime Minister Hawke’s correspondence to the then Nationals led Queensland Government hangs in my office, serving as a reminder that the right thing to do isn’t always the easy thing to do.
“This land transfer expands the national park site north of Ingham, returning 56 hectares of habitat to one of Australia’s most threatened mammals.
“If he was still around, I think Mr Hawke’s smile would only be rivalled by the mahogany gliders’.
“Environmental preservation underpins our clean energy plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.”
Powerlink Chief Executive Paul Simshauser said finalising the land transfer was a long-term initiative building on previous activities to protect mahogany gliders.
“Nine kilometres of the Ingham to Tully transmission line traverses the Wet Tropics Management Area, so Powerlink has been proactive in managing our infrastructure in this highly sensitive environment,” Mr Simshauser said.
“Powerlink has also installed numerous glider pole arrays at Clarkson, Damper, Lily and Blady Grass Creeks to encourage gliders to cross gaps in the canopy and connect fragments of habitat.”
The Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland’s Protected Area Strategy 2020-2030 supports the growth, better management and sustainability of national parks and other protected areas.
Since 2015, over 1.2 million hectares of land have been added to Queensland’s protected area estate.
For more information on Girringun National Park, visit https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/girringun