NEARLY two thirds of Curtis Island, near Gladstone, will be set aside for conservation under an initiative supported by Queensland’s liquefied natural gas industry.

The initiative ensures the protection of the island’s unique ecology and heritage for future generations.

Queensland Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Andrew Powell visited Curtis Island in August to inspect the proposed dedication of more than 25,000 hectares of newly protected areas.

“I’m extremely pleased to see first-hand the results of government, business and the community working together to achieve such a significant result for the environment,” he said.

The total area of Curtis Island set aside for environmental protection will now total 59 per cent, compared to the 2% used by the LNG projects on the southern tip of Curtis Island.

Significant funding from the three Curtis Island LNG proponents, Queensland Curtis LNG, Santos GLNG and Australia Pacific LNG, helped the plan become a reality.

Through a combined effort, the companies purchased a former grazing property and associated leases in order to transfer the titles to the State Government and remove cattle from the island, enabling the long-term restoration of environmental values.

APLNG chief executive Page Maxson said the move demonstrated the commitment of the industry to developing projects in an environmentally responsible way.

“The purchase of this property is in addition to the $34.5 million already committed by natural gas companies for the establishment, preservation and management of an environmental precinct on the southern end of Curtis Island,” Mr Maxson said.

“Not only are we helping to protect and maintain the significant ecological, environmental and heritage areas, our funding is enabling the expansion of conservation areas on Curtis Island that will be made accessible for the enjoyment of the community.”

The three LNG projects all received approval from the Queensland and Australian Governments based on the requirement to provide environmental offsets for their developments.