A VACANT parcel of land located in the heart of the Wet Tropics will become a fully-restored World Heritage Rainforest and nursery, creating jobs for Traditional Owners and boosting biodiversity on the Daintree Coast.

Douglas Shire Council Mayor Michael Kerr joined Queensland Trust For Nature (QTFN) Chair, Dr Adrian Volders, at the 376 hectare block of land, located on Cape Tribulation Road at Cape Kimberley, to mark the signing of the contract of sale.

Earlier this year, Council voted to sell the land to the conservationists for $725,000 – the same price the previous Council paid late last year – for the purpose of biodiversity restoration and conservation work on the land and working with Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation to benefit the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people.

The deal will see about 100 acres of grazing land become a conservation and biodiversity hub managed by QTFN and Rainforest Rescue.

Mayor Kerr said the deal put conservation groups in the driver’s seat when it came to protecting biodiversity on the Daintree Coast.

“The sale of this land was about putting the land in the hands of those who are best placed to deliver a world-class conservation project,” he said

“We can do this by empowering our conservation community to work with us on making a real difference, while lessening the burden on residents and ratepayers.

“I would like to congratulate QTFN and Rainforest Rescue for taking on this exciting conservation project and look forward to seeing how they progress it.”

QTFN and Rainforest Rescue plan to create a nursery which will provide training and learning opportunities for Indigenous rangers on country, as well as showcase best practice rainforest restoration in the world heritage listed setting.

The allotment is protected by the Wet Tropics World Heritage Protection and Management Act 1993, with no vegetation clearing rights existing for the property.

Dr Volders said the group planned to complete rehabilitation work that would create another reason to put the Daintree Rainforest on the world map.

“We want to rehabilitate this World Heritage area to such an extent that Douglas Shire can lay claim to the Daintree Rainforest as one of the only rainforests to be growing, rather than declining,” Dr Volders said

“Our vision is to manage and promote biodiversity, using innovative, structured programs and partnerships so that our natural environment can thrive.”