8,200ha near Charleville added to Queensland protected areas, great lifestyle

31 October 2022

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs

The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon


More than 8,200 hectares of former sheep station in Queensland’s south west will become a protected area, the Palaszczuk Government has announced.


Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said in an agreement struck between the Palaszczuk Government and Paniri Ventures, the addition of Ardgour Station Nature Refuge, 120km south of Charleville would protect important wetlands and ecosystems that form part of the Wyandra-Cunnamulla Claypans Aggregation.


Nature refuges are a class of private protected area under the state’s Nature Conservation Act and are administered by a legally binding conservation agreement between the landholder and government.


“This is an area equivalent to some 82,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools that’ll be protected for generations to come,” Minister Scanlon said. 


“Queenslanders have made it clear: they want us to continue to protect our environment and grow our protected area system.


“This new agreement does just that, building on the record $262 million we announced in the budget to create new national parks.”


Minister Scanlon said to support the nature refuge declaration, the Palaszczuk Government would invest $259,000 through its NatureAssist program to deliver a number of conservation projects on-site.


These include removing all internal fencing to improve wildlife movement, baseline flora and fauna assessments and mapping, and commissioning the land’s Traditional Owners to carry out a cultural heritage survey to gain a better cultural understanding of the property.


The Ardgour Station Nature Refuge was a former sheep grazing property that was destocked in 2016 due to drought and is now actively delivering a Commonwealth Government Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) carbon project.


Gary Wyatt, Managing Director of Paniri Ventures said the establishment of this nature refuge on Ardgour Station demonstrates how ERF projects can be used to deliver a range of benefits, including improved ecological condition and biodiversity.


“This partnership between private investment and the state and federal governments shows what is possible in tackling climate change and habitat loss,” Mr Wyatt said.


Minister Scanlon said Queensland has the largest private protected area network in Australia by land area protecting a diversity of ecosystems and threatened species.


The state’s nature refuges, which will number 555 when the new refuge is declared, cover more than 4.4 million hectares – almost a third of Queensland’s protected area system, which itself totals 14.2 million hectares.


Images available here: https://bit.ly/3TSMBcA




Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz - 0420 592 078