QUEENSLAND PLANNING AWARD
RAINFOREST GRANTS PROJECT AN AWARD-WINNER
Four Far Northern enterprises have together won a Queensland award for exploring ways councils can help protect habitat for threatened species.
Planz Town Planning, Kelly Reaston Development and Property Services, Terrain NRM and the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC) have won the Planning Institute of Australia’s Queensland Award for Excellence in Improving Planning Processes.
Judges commended the teamwork involved in “all parties stepping outside their usual networks and cross-collaborating to bravely go beyond traditional planning measures”.
Terrain NRM’s Tony O’Malley said local governments were playing a valuable role in threatened species habitat protection.
“This project was all about bringing together the region’s local government town planners, threatened species recovery teams and traditional owners to share knowledge on the region’s threatened species and on local government’s possible roles in protecting their habitats,’’ he said.
“The initiative was funded by Terrain NRM and managed by local government and their consultants, making the outcomes a great fit for local government delivery.”
The award-winning project includes 11 recommendations for greater involvement by local government, and it identifies possible partners and resources.
FNQROC’s executive officer Darlene Irvine said the project laid out a clear vision for the region.
“By stepping outside traditional land use planning approaches, it gives direction to the entire spectrum of community and local government efforts and actions in the species recovery space, and it will be of great value in guiding future investment and action,’’ she said.
The project is part of Terrain NRM’s Building Rainforest Resilience Program, which is working with landholders, threatened species recovery groups and all levels of government to improve rainforest habitat in priority areas which are home to endangered southern cassowaries, Mabi forest or littoral rainforest.
Its learnings and recommendations will be transferable to other species and ecological communities, such as lowland tropical rainforest.
Mr O’Malley said the Rainforest project focused on strategic revegetation, weed management and habitat protection. Landholders and organisations working in priority areas receive grants through the program.
“The most effective and lasting outcomes come from sharing knowledge across sectors and supporting land managers to design their own solutions,’’ he said.
“This local planning project, in a place of global biodiversity significance, reflects that approach.”
The Building Rainforest Resilience project is supported by Terrain NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
‘The Role of Local Government in the Preservation and Recovery of Threatened Species and Ecological Communities’ project was also a finalist in the Planning Institute of Australia’s national awards.
Learn more about the Building Rainforest Resilience Project.