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Tree planting program at Barolin Reserve a step closer

Tree planting program at Barolin Reserve a step closer

Greenfleet is one step closer to undertake a revegetation project at the Barolin Nature Reserve - a large area of natural bush, grassy plains and wetlands right next to the coastal town of Bargara. The Reserve is managed by Bundaberg Regional Council for environmental purposes and has a long history of cattle grazing which is slowly being phased out to protect the high conservation value of its plant life.

As owners of the land, the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) recommended that Council offer a standard 30 year trustee lease to Greenfleet with a clause that confirms that Council as a trustee cannot enter into another agreement under the Carbon Farming Initiative Act.

Deputy Mayor and Spokesperson for Environment and Natural Resources, Cr Bill Trevor said the trustee lease would confirm that Greenfleet would retain ownership of the planted trees for the duration of the lease, after which time they became the property of the State.

While the trustee lease will be over the entire reserve, this will not conflict with Council’s existing agreement with Greenfleet or hinder Council’s ability to manage the land as a trustee,” Cr Trevor said. Coming to such an agreement would allow the tree planting project to proceed and give Greenfleet confidence that it can make a substantial investment in the Barolin Nature Reserve as a voluntary carbon offset.

Michael Coleman, Greenfleet's GM Reforestation explains that not only this project will help mitigate carbon emissions, extend habitat for wildlife in the Reserve and provide more recreational space for the community; it will also provide a buffer to the Mon Repos turtle rookery.

"The Barolin Nature Reserve is adjacent to the Mon Repos Conservation Park, a regional park supporting the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland. Our reforestation work in the Reserve will help filter light pollution from the city and minimise disturbance of the nesting and hatching turtles," Michael says.

Proposed map of the planting area at Barolin Reserve, as of April 2016