Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles has congratulated Unitywater for purchasing and protecting the Yandina Creek wetlands.
Dr Miles said the purchase would result in the 190-hectare parcel of former cane land being used as a nutrient offset.
“Last year, I visited these properties with Peter Wellington (Independent MP for Nicklin), Birdlife Queensland and the Sunshine Coast Conservation Council,” Dr Miles said.
“I was impressed with the range of birds that called the artificial wetlands home.
“This is an innovative conservation initiative, and I look forward to following its progress,” he said.
Dr Miles said that the formerly private land had been used to grow sugar cane prior to the closure of the local sugar mill, after which it had been left fallow with thousands of birds and other wetland wildlife setting up habitat in the area.
“We provided environmental advice to Unitywater when it became known there was a possibility this service provider could purchase of the land and protect the wetlands.”
Dr Miles said Unitywater anticipated a staged redevelopment of the wetlands, developing an implementation plan to achieve appropriate regrowth over a three-year period.
“I recognise the significance of the acquisition and the Palaszczuk Government will continue to cooperate with Unitywater during the project’s early stages to ensure a successful outcome”.
Birdlife Australia Southern Queensland convenor Judith Hoyle said the restored wetland would be an immensely important site for bird life.
“We have already had a preliminary meeting with key staff at Unitywater,” she said.
“By the time migratory shorebirds that used to rely on this habitat return in 2018, it’s great to know that restoration of their wetland habitat will be underway.”
BirdLife Australia, and its regional branch, BirdLife Southern Queensland, actively promoted the importance of the site for migratory shorebirds to the Queensland Government and the Sunshine Coast Council, urging them to find a solution to secure the site as a wetland.
Mr Wellington said the purchase would benefit the environment and the region.
“I’m delighted that a positive outcome has been achieved for the future of the Yandina Wetlands,” Mr Wellington said.
“This has the potential to be a real drawcard for the Sunshine Coast, attracting birdwatchers and nature lovers from around Australia and even beyond”.
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
The Honourable Steven Miles