Curtis Island nature reserve to lift tourism

A 517 hectare parcel of land on Curtis Island has been designated a Nature Reserve.

Queensland Minister for Local Government and Environment Desley Boyle said the move would improve tourism and conserve native habitat.

Ms Boyle said the gazettal of the Curtis Island Nature Refuge was an important step in conserving vital open space, while improving tourist facilities on the Island.

"This refuge will ensure conservation of the vegetation on the property and allow the owners to develop a tourist resort with an air strip,'' she said.

A spokesperson for the company leasing the parcel of land said members of the public could not access the land.

Australian Manager of Queensland Resort Enterprises Limited David Douglas said when a pastoral lease expired in 2003 arrangements were set in motion for various zonings on the island.

"Queensland Resort Enterprises Pty Ltd has a 100 year lease for tourism purposes on a parcel of land on Curtis Island,'' he said.

"Within that lease is a 517 hectare area which has been designated as a nature reserve.

Ms Boyle made the announcement yesterday along with a raft of other similar ones throughout Queensland.

"I congratulate the owners for entering into a conservation agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency,'' she said.

"This agreement shows that the tourism industry can work handin-hand with the Queensland government to protect our natural assests.

Other reserves were established at Ballantyne Creek and The Point near Hervey Bay, Creek Retreat near Eungella National Park, Edward Said near Port Douglas, Galaji and Hypsi Forest in north Queensland, The Cedars and The Dome near Mackay, as well as parcels near Mitchell and the Gold Coast.

The first nature refuge was gazetted in 1994; the latest gazettals have increased the total number of nature refuges across Queensland to 138.



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