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Flinders Karawatha Corridor

Flinders Plum tree (Planchonella eerwah). Photo courtesy of Glenn Leiper

Flinders Plum tree (Planchonella eerwah). Photo courtesy of Glenn Leiper

The Queensland Government, in partnership with local government and the community, is committed to maintaining and enhancing the rural and environmental amenity of the Flinders Karawatha Corridor.

The partnership and its activities will provide incentives that will assist landholders to ensure that the values of the corridor are maintained for future generations. Participation by landholders will be completely voluntary and inclusion in the corridor program does not impose any new regulations. No property rights will be restricted by inclusion within the Flinders Karawatha Corridor boundary.

The Queensland Government, in partnership with local government and a number of other stakeholders, has developed the Flinders Karawatha Corridor Management Strategy—a five-year management plan that identifies actions that maintain and enhance its environmental, recreational and cultural heritage values. The management strategy focuses project partners and the community on key activities that ensure the long-term maintenance.

In order to maintain the environmental, recreational and cultural heritage values, issues such as management of fire, weeds and erosion control need to be coordinated. In some cases innovative engineering solutions may be required to ensure wildlife can safely travel between habitats. All participation by the community and landholders in these programs will be voluntary.

The corridor is the largest remaining continuous stretch of open eucalypt forest in South East Queensland and is a significant landscape feature for the region.

The corridor extends from Karawatha Forest in Brisbane’s southern suburbs to Flinders Peak, on to the south side of Ipswich and down to the Wyaralong Dam near Boonah.

The corridor is about 563.5km² or 56,350 hectares in size and about 60km long. In comparison:

  • Brisbane Forest Park (now officially the southern part of D'Aguilar National Park) is about 25,000 hectares in size
  • North Stradbroke Island is about 285km² or 28,500 hectares and 38km long.

The corridor contains significant rural areas for the region as well as outdoor recreation opportunities on the numerous public estates. The corridor contributes to the long-term health and wellbeing of the people in the region, by providing clean air, clean water, healthy landscapes, areas for grazing, farming and biodiversity.

Read about the opportunities and benefits for landowners.

Background

South Ripley rural scene

South Ripley rural scene

Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla dominant and co-dominant) - Threatened ecological community

Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla dominant and co-dominant) - Threatened ecological community

The peaks and low hills, creeks and flats in the corridor have attracted people to the region since the first Aboriginal people arrived in Australia. The area’s natural values and rural pursuits are now under intense pressure from urbanisation and other uses as the population continues to increase in South East Queensland. Vegetation clearing, increased frequency of fires, weeds and feral animals have all impacted on the values of the corridor.

The Flinders Karawatha Corridor crosses of the boundaries of Ipswich City, Logan City, Scenic Rim and Brisbane City councils and traverses the suburbs of:

Allendale

Allenview

Bromelton

Browns Plains

Camira

Carole Park

Coulson

Deebing Heights

Drewvale

Forestdale

Goolman

Greenbank

Heathwood

Kagaru

Karawatha

Kuraby

Larapinta

Logan Central

Lyons

Milbong

New Beith

Parkinson

Peak Crossing

Purga

Redbank Plains

Roadvale

Runcorn

South Ripley

Spring Mountain

Springfield Lakes

Stretton

Undullah

Washpool

White Rock

Woodridge

Woolooman

Wyaralong

The Flinders Karawatha Corridor also sits between new urban communities being developed in the region, including Greater Flagstone, Greenbank and Yarrabilba in Logan City, and Springfield and Ripley Valley in Ipswich City. Development and population growth in these new inland urban areas will relieve pressures on coastal parts of the region and are expected to support 475,000 new residents by 2031.

These growth areas present challenges in the corridor between balancing sustainable regional growth and maintaining the corridor’s environmental values.

As the residential population expands, demand in this southern part of South East Queensland for recreation space will also increase. While the majority of the urban growth will occur in the southern part of the region, the majority of recreation and open space is located in the northern part.

The Flinders Karawatha Corridor provides an opportunity to better balance growth with recreation and open space in the southern part of South East Queensland.

Nature on the doorstep

Powerful owl (Ninos strenua)

Powerful owl (Ninos strenua)

Flinders Plum fruit (Planchonella eerwah). Photo courtesy of Glenn Leiper

Flinders Plum fruit (Planchonella eerwah). Photo courtesy of Glenn Leiper

White Rock Conservation Park. Photo courtesy of Ipswich City Council

White Rock Conservation Park. Photo courtesy of Ipswich City Council

The corridor includes a range of distinctive habitats including rocky hills, wetlands and eucalypt forest. Abundant plant and animal life is dependent on these habitats, including a significant number of rare and threatened flora and fauna including:

  • powerful owl (Ninos strenua)
  • regent honeyeater (Anthochaera phrygia)
  • swift parrot (Lathamus discolour)
  • brush tailer rock wallaby (Petrogale penicillata)
  • koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
  • wallum froglet (Crinia tinnula)
  • swamp tea-tree (Melaleuca irbyana) - critically endangered
  • Lloyd's native olive (Notelaea lloydii) - one of the rarest plants in Queensland
  • Flinders Plum (Planchonella eerwah) - rare Australian rainforest tree
  • Boonah tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis tomentella)

The Flinders Karawatha Corridor Management Strategy Environmental Values and Land Use Data Report (PDF, 18M)* (EvaLU) provides a detailed analysis of the biodiversity values of the corridor.

There are some protected areas in the corridor that provide long-term protection and management of habitats for these species—some owned by local councils and some by the Queensland Government. State controlled protected estates in the corridor are:

  • Flinders Peak Conservation Park
  • Mount Perry Conservation Park
  • White Rock Conservation Park.

Other protected areas covered by Commonwealth and Local Government planning laws are:

  • White Rock-Spring Mountain Conservation Estates
  • Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate
  • Greenbank Military Training Area
  • Logan City Council Reserves
  • Karawatha Forest
  • Glider Forest Conservation Area.

The Flinders Karawatha Corridor is situated in the Brisbane River and Logan-Albert River catchments. The majority of land within the corridor is privately-owned showing the importance of the role of landholders in managing land in a way that supports local flora and fauna populations.

Recreational opportunities

Hikers

Hikers

The current reserves within the Flinders Karawatha Corridor provide open space and recreational opportunities for one of Australia’s fastest growing regions, catering for people who enjoy bushwalking, bird watching, mountain biking, horse riding, picnics, and beautiful green and open space vistas.

At present there are different activities allowed in each area. Coordinated management will also allow for high-impact activities such as mountain bike riding, trail biking, horse riding and other outdoor activities to be offered in the most suitable location. Read about the opportunities and benefits for landowners. 

Managing the corridor

Brush-tailed rock wallaby (Petrogale pencillata)

Brush-tailed rock wallaby (Petrogale pencillata)

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

The Queensland Government will coordinate the protection of open space recreational development and the management and funding of the corridor project in partnership with local government and non-government organisations. In order to protect the corridor’s biodiversity, degraded habitats will be rehabilitated and innovative engineering solutions will be applied to ensure wildlife can safely travel between habitats.

The government, in partnership with local government, non-government organisations and traditional owners, has developed the Flinders Karawatha Corridor Management Strategy. The strategy is not a statutory planning program, but a voluntary framework to balance sustainable future economic development with environmental, social and cultural values.

The government’s 5-year vision aims to improve the connectivity of the diverse landscape values for wildlife and people and involved two key phases:

1. Planning the proposed corridor

Phase 1 of the consultation was undertaken between October and December 2011, and between July and August 2012, to define the administrative boundary. Participants included landholders, local council, the development industry, rural industry and environmental groups.

Phase 2 of the consultation was undertaken in 2013 and landholders and other interested parties were invited to provide submissions on the Flinders Karawatha Corridor Draft Management Strategy.

All submissions received, together with information obtained through forums and interest group meetings, were collated and analysed and a consultation report developed. The Flinders Karawatha Corridor Draft Management Strategy Consultation Report 2013 (PDF, 909K)* is available.

2. Managing the proposed corridor

Assistance programs and incentives are available to landholders for their involvement in management practices that support the ongoing maintenance of the corridor's values.

Public infrastructure, such as walking trails, may be provided over time as need and resources are available. Likewise, opportunities to improve wildlife habitat connectivity will rely largely on the establishment of voluntary incentive programs for landholders.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) has now finalised the Flinders Karawatha Corridor Management Strategy 2014-2019 (PDF, 6.0M)*. Enquiries in relation to the Flinders Karawatha Corridor, including the management strategy, can be forwarded to the following email or post box addresses: 

Email: Esres.Southernescbranch@ehp.qld.gov.au

Mail: Flinders Karawatha Corridor
Environmental Standards and Compliance Branch
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
GPO Box 2454
BRISBANE QLD 4001

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Last updated
11 April 2014