Close to 14 hectares has been added to Sunshine Coast Council’s conservation estate thanks to a recent land acquisition at Bli Bli, using funds from the community’s Environment Levy.
Mayor Mark Jamieson was on site today (Tuesday December 3) with Cr Stephen Robinson at what will be known as the Maroochy River Environment Reserve to announce the recent purchase.
Mayor Jamieson said one of the important aspects of the Environment Levy is the ability to acquire land with important ecological and habitat values, to preserve for current and future generations.
“The Maroochy River Environment Reserve contains three different vegetation types, protects important riparian habitats and is home to five mangrove species, some of which may be up to 200 years old,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“It is also located within the Blue Heart, an area of more than 5,000 hectares in the Maroochy River’s natural floodplain that forms the basis for an Australian-first blue carbon tripartite initiative being led by our council, in collaboration with Unitywater and Department of Environment and Science.
“The acquisition of this site builds on the public land component of the Blue Heart project area within the Maroochy River floodplain.
“The Blue Heart contains important environmental features and acts as a critical flood storage area to protect the catchment from flood impacts.
“This initiative also seeks to provide sustainable options for existing private landholders in the area, in terms of blue carbon farming, as well as encouraging more sustainable land management practices within this important catchment.
“The Blue Heart also aims to strengthen the adaptation and resilience of the Sunshine Coast community, through the delivery of conservation, recreation and flood mitigation.
“Our council has a deep-seated and long-standing commitment to preserving the liveability and natural landscape of our region for current and future generations – and the acquisition of this property continues that commitment.
“Our work in this area is also another component of our council’s extensive array of actions to further strengthen the region’s response to climate change.
“Our council is working on a number of fronts to strengthen our region’s climate resilience and is taking real action to help our communities adapt to a changing climate.
“From developing our Climate Hazard Adaptation Strategy, to establishing our own solar farm to ground-breaking partnerships like our Blue Heart commitment.
“Inspiring and empowering the community to value the environment and play their part in a liveable, sustainable and resilient future is a high priority of our council,” Mayor Jamieson said.
Division 9 Councillor Stephen Robinson said he was proud that council had shown leadership in conserving vital environmental land on the Maroochy River floodplain and it was great to see such a significant investment in Division 9.
“The Environment Levy is used to buy, protect and enhance environmentally significant land that provides important habitat areas for flora and fauna, grows our conservation estate and contributes to maintaining the liveability of the Sunshine Coast,” Cr Robinson said.
“The Maroochy River Environment Reserve achieves all of these goals, as well as contributing to our impressive Blue Heart project.”
“Council is currently working to establish the property and develop management plans to conserve its environmental values for future generations.
“Through the Environment Levy and partnerships like Blue Heart, council is working towards our vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart, creative.”
Sunshine Coast Council’s conservation estate now totals more than 6,900 hectares and is regarded as one of the largest council-owned and/or managed conservation estates in south east Queensland.
To find out more about Blue Heart or your Environment Levy in action, visit www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au