Mullum group saves more rainforest
Mullumbimby-based not-for-profit organisation Rainforest Rescue has bought and protected a 12th property in the Daintree rainforest in Far North Queensland through their ‘Daintree Buy Back and Protect Forever Project’.
It raised the $85,000 needed to buy the property thanks to the backing of local supporters, including Martin and Pam Brook, who operate Brookfarm at St Helena, Australia’s leading producer of gourmet macadamia products.
While the Daintree National Park and World Heritage Area were declared in 1988, two-thirds of the Daintree lowlands were excluded as they had previously been subdivided for rural residential development, creating 1100 blocks.
“Many people are surprised to find the Daintree is not fully protected, especially as the Daintree lowland rainforest is an Australian icon that provides habitat for 120 threatened species of plants and animals,” said Rainforest Rescue CEO Kelvin Davies.
Mr Davies said building houses in the Daintree created clearings and fragmented the rainforest, and settlement often brought dogs that killed wildlife, and exotic plants that became environmental weeds.
“The Daintree is an important tourism asset with over 300,000 people visiting every year, most of whom would love to see a cassowary in the wild, so saving the Daintree is good for the tourism industry and the economy,” he said.
The Queensland Government has classified the newly-acquired block and the surrounding area as essential habitat for the endangered cassowary under the Vegetation Management Act of 1999.
“It’s estimated that only 1000 cassowaries remain in the wild, so it’s essential to keep all of the remaining habitat. That’s why we chose to purchase and protect this specific property,” said Mr Davies.
Mr Brook said Brookfarm was delighted to have assisted Rainforest Rescue in their efforts to protect the fragile Daintree and in turn help to secure the home of the endangered cassowary.
“In supporting Rainforest Rescue we decided to give our customers the opportunity to become involved in this very important project by donating funds from the sales of our new Brookfarm Muesli bars and Walkabout mixes," he said.
Mr Davies said while there has in the past been government-funded buy back in the Daintree, today 186 properties remained at risk of development.
“Most Australians believe the Daintree should be protected, which is demonstrated by those people who have donated the money to purchase this latest property and protect it forever,” he said.
“This is our twelfth purchase to date, and we won’t stop there. With the support of our donors and supporting businesses, our buy back program will continue until we’ve bought back every privately owned property that we can, rescuing the Daintree rainforest forever.”
If you would like to donate to Rainforest Rescue to help purchase the next property in the Daintree, visit www.rainforestrescue.org.au or phone 6684 4360. All donations are tax-deductible.