Nearly two thirds of Curtis Island, near Gladstone, will be set aside for environmental conservation.
The scheme, which has received substantial funding from companies with LNG projects in the area, will attempt to ensure the protection of the island’s unique ecology and heritage.
Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Andrew Powell, visited Curtis Island earlier today to inspect the proposed establishment of more than 25 000 hectares of newly protected areas.
Minister Powell said: “I’m extremely pleased to see first-hand the results of government, business and the community working together to achieve such a significant result for the environment.”
On behalf of the LNG projects, Australia Pacific LNG CEO, Page Maxson, welcomed the new conservation areas. He said they “demonstrated the commitment of the industry to developing projects in an environmentally responsible way”.
59% of Curtis Island will be set aside for environmental protection. Only 2% of Curtis Island is taken up by LNG projects, which are located on the southern tip of the island.
Significant funding from natural gas companies QGC, Santos GLNG and Australia Pacific LNG has made this achievement possible. Through a combined effort, the companies purchased a former grazing property and associated leases in order to transfer the titles to the State Government and remove cattle from the island, enabling the long-term restoration of environmental values.
“The purchase of this property is in addition to the AU$ 34.5 million already committed by natural gas companies for the establishment, preservation and management of an environmental precinct on the southern end of Curtis Island,” Mr Maxson said.
“And, the property transfer adds to existing and newly declared areas of national park and conservation within the Curtis Island Environmental Management Precinct.
Protection, maintenance and expansion
“Not only are we helping to protect and maintain the significant ecological, environmental and heritage areas, our funding is enabling the expansion of conservation areas on Curtis Island that will be made accessible for the enjoyment of the community.”
The three LNG projects all received approval from the Queensland and Australian Governments based on the requirement to provide environmental offsets for their developments.
Adapted from press release by Ted Monroe
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/22082014/lng-industry-helps-fund-conservation-1265/