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Locals back conservation plan for Curtis Island

ISLAND SAVIOURS: Environment Minister Andrew Powell (third from right) with (from left) LNG representatives Ben Power, Page Maxson, Brenton Hawtin and Tracey Winters, and Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham.
ISLAND SAVIOURS: Environment Minister Andrew Powell (third from right) with (from left) LNG representatives Ben Power, Page Maxson, Brenton Hawtin and Tracey Winters, and Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham. Mara Pattison-Sowden

CURTIS Island residents are pleased that future generations will be able to enjoy the island the way they have, with nearly two thirds of the island set aside for environmental conservation.

Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham was also pleased the community could enjoy the area close to where industry had taken over, following the construction of three LNG plants on the island.

>> Conservationists slam Curtis preservation move

Queensland Environment Minister Andrew Powell flew over Curtis Island yesterday to inspect the  proposed establishment of more than 25,000ha of protected area.

He was joined by LNG officials to announce that 59% of the island would be set aside for environmental protection, compared to the 2% used by the LNG projects.

"This brings together two thirds of the island under National Park into conservation park that's being protected now into perpetuity," Mr Powell said.

Through a combined effort, the companies purchased the former Monte Christo cattle property and associated leases to enable the restoration of environmental values.

Resident Cynthia Smyth said it sounded positive as long as the balance was there between the environment and industry.

"Today's announcement sounds positive for the future, and the future generations to come," she said.

Mrs Cunningham said the community had some concerns about future development but it was a welcome step forward.

"Often areas are made National Park but there's no ability financially to take care of them, to keep problematic weeds and animals out, so the money for future care is welcome," she said.

"Over the years we have seen the environmental offsets 50km north of the harbour and it's the community that has lost access to environmentally nice areas to visit.

"So the community that has paid the price in terms of industrial development will get the benefit of areas set aside that they can access in lieu of."

Topics:  andrew powell, conservation, curtis island, environment, gladstone



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