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Glen Rock wins World Heritage status to protect rare wildlife

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A southeast Queensland forest which is a habitat for the glossy-black cockatoo, brush-tailed rock wallaby and the powerful owl will be become part of a World Heritage-listed national park.

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Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon says more than 3400 hectares of the former Glen Rock State Forest will be converted and added to Main Range National Park near Gatton, southwest of Brisbane.

She says a further 2890 hectares will become part of the new Main Range Conservation Park.

“The dedication of former state forest will see two key conservation areas in the region linked for the very first time, protecting key habitat for the glossy-black cockatoo, brush-tailed rock wallaby and the powerful owl,” Ms Scanlon told parliament on Thursday night.

“It follows the handback of more than 160,000 hectares of land back to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people in the state’s far north earlier this year, plus another 4,400 hectares across the state also being protected”.

She says Glen Rock’s rivers, creeks and waterways are a vital part of the Lockyer Creek, which is a tributary of the Brisbane River.

The forest’s vegetation is also part of an important biodiversity corridor extending to the Bunya Mountains, the minister said.

Glen Rock used to be part of one of the southeast’s largest cattle properties before the state purchased it in 1995.

The forest has been being used for bee-keeping, research, camping, bushwalking and horse-riding in recent years.

Queensland Conservation Council protected areas program manager Andrew Picone says protecting another forest will help reverse declines in biodiversity and prevent species extinction.

He said the Main Range National Park was burnt during the 2019 bushfires, but Glen Rock escaped the blazes.

“The split of national and conservation parks provides a balanced outcome ensuring park users can still enjoy the existing recreational opportunities including mountain biking and horse riding in appropriate areas,” Mr Picone said in a statement.

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