Conservationists and mountain bike riders have welcomed the news that 2,548 hectares of former State Forest, including Ferny Forest on the Sunshine Coast, will be permanently protected from logging, grazing and mining.
A motion to start the process for the creation of these protected areas went through Queensland Parliament on Thursday evening.
Queensland Conservation Council protected areas campaigner Nicky Moffat said it was great to see the Palaszczuk Government taking actions consistent with its promise to end native forest logging in the region and double Queensland’s protected areas network to 17% of the state.
Photo: Sunshine Coast locals overjoyed when logging plans were abandoned in Ferny Forest, December 2022. Pic by Patrick Woods for QCC
“This is a great first step for endangered greater gliders, koalas and dozens of threatened species and ecological communities that rely on these forest ecosystems," Ms Moffat said. “It’s also great news for mountain bike riders and others who enjoy using conservation parks. Locals will be thrilled.
“There is up to 70,000 hectares of public native forests in SEQ available for logging. We are calling on the Palaszczuk government to protect all public native forests across the region before October next year in line with previous commitments and policy
Mountain bike rider Cameron Gibson, 45, lives in Narangba and grew up near Glasshouse Mountains, and has been riding in Ferny Forest and other SEQ forests he was 14 years old.
Photo: Cameron Gibson, pic by Patrick Woods for QCC
“It’s awesome news Ferny is protected. I ride there often, and take mates there. I go out there now and feel like I’m 14 again - I love being in the bush,” Mr Gibson said.
“This area has the best local tracks for mountain biking, it’s such a great thing for kids to get into so it’ll be great to preserve them. It’s amazing the animals you see in these forests, I’ve seen koala, pythons and even platypus are in some of these forests. They’re really important.”
The 2,548 hectares of new and expanded protected areas:
198 ha Wickham Timber Reserve - now part of the existing Plunkett Conservation Park
129 ha of Beerwah State Forest (including Ferny Forest) - now the new Mooloolah River Conservation Park
994 ha Deer Reserve State Forest is the new Deer Reserve Conservation Park
1150 ha West Cooroy State Forest is the new West Cooroy Conservation Park
61 ha of Luttons State Forest is now part of the existing Glass House Mountains Conservation Park
16 ha of Mount Mee State Forest is now part of the existing D’Aguilar National Park
BACKGROUND: Minister for Environment media release here: Further 2,500 hectares to be added to protected area estate
MEDIA CONTACT NICKY MOFFAT 0424 452 350 / CAMERON GIBSON 0430 272 610. Available for interview, live or pre-record.