Blue heart thrives with more land allocated for conservation

The purchase of three additional land acquisitions within the Sunshine Coast Council’s ‘Blue Heart’ will provide more habitat areas for the native Jabiru, commonly known as the black-necked stork, to thrive. Photo: G. Hunter

Sunshine Coast Council has secured three additional land parcels within our region’s strategic environmental asset – Blue Heart Sunshine Coast and the land, located on River Road, Maroochy River will add more than 38 hectares to the quantum of land in the Blue Heart that is already in public ownership. 

Importantly, these three lots will expand council’s existing Coolum Creek Environment Reserve to more than 433 hectares – which is the equivalent of approximately 860 football fields.

The expansion of council’s reserve builds on the Blue Heart partner landholdings, including the surrounding Unitywater owned Yandina Creek Wetland and State Government’s Coolum Creek Conservation Park. 

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said Blue Heart Sunshine Coast was one of the most significant, long term environmental assets for our region and council’s continuing approach to maintaining this area for its intended purposes would be an enduring legacy for current and future generations.

“When I launched Blue Heart Sunshine Coast with the former Minister for Environment and Unitywater on July 24, 2019, I made the point that this is yet another real action by our council and its partners to improve the sustainability of our region for generations to come – as well as providing opportunities for our community in the face of a changing climate,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The Blue Heart is an area of more than 5,000 hectares within the Maroochy River Catchment and everyone who has ever lived here – from the peoples of the Kabi Kabi First Nation to the landowners today – know that this area has significant environmental and natural flood plain characteristics.

“It’s an area where responsible land and water management will showcase – and deliver – exemplary environmental, social and economic outcomes.

“Extending our landholdings within the Blue Heart, as we have done by acquiring these three properties, enables our council to create new habitat through land restoration and to plan for recreational access for the whole Sunshine Coast community. 

“These new properties will consolidate and expand the surrounding public lands and provide a connected habitat corridor for our native plants and animals to thrive – including strengthening our state and nationally recognised Maroochy-Noosa Wallum biodiversity corridor.

“This places us well on the path to achieving our environmental objectives for this project.

“This area may also provide opportunities to investigate and deliver water quality improvements and nutrient reduction to improve catchment, waterway and beach health as well as improving our ability to protect the Maroochy floodplain, and its intended role and function as a flood preservation area,” Mayor Jamieson said.

Division 9 and Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said these additional purchases within the Blue Heart area would be a great asset to the environment and liveability of our region. 

“These lands build on the important work done already through Blue Heart Sunshine Coast, and will contribute to delivering the environmental, social and economic co-benefits the project seeks to achieve, in line with the intent of council’s Environment and Liveability Strategy,” Cr Suarez said 

“This acquisition also further demonstrates council’s commitment to proactively respond to climate change and build our community’s resilience as more people choose to live in our region.

“In time, this latest acquisition will provide opportunities to restore estuarine wetland habitat, conduct further research into water quality and develop recreation opportunities such as walking trails our community can access and enjoy. 

“Council looks forward to continuing our work with our Blue Heart partners – Unitywater and the Department of Environment and Science – to activate the public lands within the Blue Heart and deliver on the project’s objectives.” 

The three properties have been acquired using the proceeds of the Environment Levy, which is contributed by all ratepayers of the Sunshine Coast. Visit the website to find out more:

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