Two New Nature Refuges Added to Protected Area Estate – National Parks Association of Queensland

Two New Nature Refuges Added to Protected Area Estate

Photography: Images supplied by Department of Premier & Cabinet

Boomerang Lagoon on Abingdon Downs.
Two additions to Queensland’s Protected Area Estate have been announced, increasing protected areas to 8.6% of the State’s area.


The Albanese Government is providing $3 million to the Queensland Miles Labor Government through the Protecting Important Biodiversity Areas Program to support two nature refuges and future additions to Queensland’s private protected areas.

The project will support the 64,000-ha expansion of Crystalvale Nature Refuge, about 15km south-west of Coen, and establish the new 244,000-ha Abingdon Downs North Nature Refuge, about 85km north-west of Georgetown. It is being delivered in partnership with the property owners – Corporate Carbon Group (Crystalvale Nature Refuge) and Gunn Agri Partners and the operating entity, Cunningham Cattle Co. (Abingdon Downs North Nature Refuge).

Nature refuges are a class of private protected area under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act 1992 and are administered by a legally binding conservation agreement between a landholder and the Queensland Government. Abingdon Downs North and Crystalvale make up the largest dedication of private protected area in the past six years.

“Our Private Protected Area Program complements our historic funding commitment of $262.5 million to expand and better manage Queensland’s public protected area estate and enables us to continue our collaborative efforts with private landholders like Gunn Agri and Corporate Carbon,” said Leanne Linard, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Innovation.

Almost half of all land protected as private protected areas across Australia is now in Queensland. Private protected areas are internationally recognised as an important part of protected area systems and, in Queensland, are formally represented by special wildlife reserves and nature refuges. Combined with other protected areas, like national parks, close to 15 million hectares, or 8.6%, of Queensland’s area is now protected.

Read more about the announcement here.

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