Planting program puts roots down
THE biggest environmental tree planting project ever undertaken in the Bundaberg region was officially launched this week.
Mayor of the Bundaberg Region, Jack Dempsey, and the Chief Executive Officer of Greenfleet planted the first of 90,000 native trees in the Barolin Nature Reserve as a voluntary carbon offset.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said the Greenfleet project was a win for Council, the community and the environment.
“This will revitalise one of our region’s most popular and significant natural areas,” the Mayor said,
Spokesperson for Environment and Natural Resources, Cr Bill Trevor said the initiative would create a new 90 hectare forest on land which is currently bare, providing extra habitat for wildlife and more bushland for people to enjoy.
“We are delighted that Greenfleet has chosen to invest in a project of this scale and provide the expertise to make it a success,” Cr Trevor said.
“Under the project, Greenfleet will maintain the planted areas for five years to ensure good survival of the trees and in return Council has guaranteed that the trees will remain in place for a minimum of 30 years.”
Greenfleet CEO, Wayne Wescott said the trees represented real action on climate change.
“This will become one of more than 425 forests we have planted across Australia and New Zealand since 1997 on behalf of our supporters.
As it grows, the forest at Barolin Nature Reserve will capture carbon pollution from the atmosphere.
To conserve biodiversity and generate resilience to climate change in the landscape,” he said.
“It also will help the endangered marine turtles at Mon Repos by reducing the glow of lights onto the beach.
“When I visited Mon Repos yesterday the rangers explained that the baby turtles need a dark beach so that they can get safely out to sea.
“I am very proud that, in the longterm, the Greenfleet forest will help them to survive.” he said.
The tree planting project required approval from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources which recommended the Council provide a 30 year lease to Greenfleet to clarify arrangements for carbon sequestration.
Mr Wescott said this approval gave Greenfleet the confidence to invest in the creation of more forests in Queensland:
“We are continuously looking for suitable land and are talking with Councils and private landowners about future projects in Queensland.”
The 90,000 trees will be germinated next month and planted early in 2017 depending on rainfall.
The council are seeking interest from land owners.
NATURE RESERVE: Mayor Jack Dempsey plants a tree for the new council program.