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State buys multi-million dollar cattle stations in far north

Statewide

The State Government has bought two multi-million dollar northern Australian cattle stations as part of a conservation program.

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The 131,900 hectares – Bramwell and Richardson Stations – are part of a major land acquisition in the State’s far north, supported by a grant brokered by the Nature Conservancy Australia.

The purchase was dubbed by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, speaking in State Parliament on Thursday, as one of the most significant in the State’s history.

“Conservation is vital when it comes to tackling climate change and supporting the local tourism industry,” the Premier said.

“This is one of the most significant purchases in Queensland history – linking close to one million hectares of protected land in a picturesque part of our state.

“Conserving and returning this land to Traditional Owners will create jobs and opportunities for local workers in the future.”

State Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon announced the land would return to First Nations ownership and management.

She said the area includes undisturbed ecosystems.

“Through the Cape York Peninsula Tenure Resolution Program, we will negotiate for which areas of the land will be made jointly managed national park and which areas become Aboriginal freehold land,” Scanlon said.

The resolution program returns the ownership and management of Cape York Peninsula lands to Aboriginal Traditional Owners.

“The lands also provide further opportunity to protect the Great Barrier Reef by stabilising two catchment areas that flow into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.”

Scanlon said Junction Roadhouse on Richardson Station and the start of the “Old Telegraph Track” would remain.

“The roadhouse and tourist park are vital to the local economy and the tourism industry and we will ensure provisions are made to allow these facilities to continue operating,” Scanlon said.

Gerhardt Pearson, Executive Director of Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation P/L, said the corporation was delighted that the Traditional Owners of these properties would now be able to enjoy the cultural and economic benefits of their ancestral lands.

Today’s announcement was the result of many years of negotiation and planning, he said.

“Traditional Owners of these strategic lands – gateway to northern Cape York, including the start of the telegraph track – can now work with the Traditional Owners of surrounding lands to better manage country and protected areas,” Pearson said.

 

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