Daintree Buy Back FAQ
Q. How has this situation come to be?
A. Prior to the creation of the Daintree National Park a developer purchased a large area of the Daintree Rainforest from farmers and landholders. They also were able to convert some leasehold land to freehold. This occurred in the 1980s when Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s pro development government was in power in Queensland.
Q. How is rainforest rescue saving the daintree?
A. Thanks to our many supporters, Rainforest Rescue is buying back the land in the Daintree Rainforest that is threatened by development and is ensuring it’s then protected forever.
Q. What are the current threats to the daintree?
A. Rural residential development is the greatest threat to the Daintree Rainforest and there are 180 properties that remain at risk. Increased settlement leads to clearing and fragmentation of the rainforest, more wildlife killed on roads, an increase in invasive weeds displacing native plants and the further loss of wildlife through domestic dog attacks.
Q. But isn’t the daintree rainforest protected in a national park?
A. The Daintree National Park/World Heritage Area was declared in 1988 however two-thirds of the Lowland Daintree Rainforest was excluded from the listing.
Q. Who now owns the properties that rainforest rescue buys?
A. Within the Daintree Lowlands Rainforest there are still 180 properties that remain at risk of development. In the 1980s the developer divided the larger properties into 1,100 smaller lots and sold them as freehold properties to individual people all over Australia. These people may have had intentions to one day build on the property or they may have been property investors speculating on an increase in value. Many are now willing to sell to Rainforest Rescue.
Q. How does rainforest rescue choose which properties to buy?
A. Rainforest Rescue prioritises the purchase and protection of the most important properties – those that protect endangered, threatened or rare plant and animal species such as the Southern Cassowary and the Bennett’s Tree-kangaroo. We also prioritise the purchase of properties that create wildlife corridors for wildlife where none exist. This often involves purchasing properties adjacent to the Daintree National Park or State Reserves effectively extending their boundaries. Prior to purchase we survey flora and fauna on the properties to document the values of each property.
Q. Do the properties purchased have rainforest on them?
Yes, we preference the purchase of properties that have fully functional rainforest rather than buying cleared or partially cleared blocks. We aim to save what’s left before rehabilitating any damaged properties.
Q. Does each $5 really buy and protect one square metre?
A. Yes, on average the price is less than $5 per square metre, however the price of each property varies. For example we were able to save two properties in Forest Creek Road for $1.79 per square metre. Some properties have cost a little more than $5 per square metre to save. So when you donate, your gift has the power to buy back and protect your own special part of the Daintree Rainforest forever.
Q. How is the rainforest protected forever?
A. Rainforest Rescue owns and manages the land. Rainforest Rescue and its constitution are registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission to which it submits its audited annual reports. The constitution details its specific and restricted purpose and activities as a rainforest conservation organisation. It cannot develop the land. The constitution also stipulates that in the event of Rainforest Rescue winding up, all assets must be transferred to an organisation with the same conservation objectives and legal standing. Rainforest Rescue ensures the properties are protected forever by having them gazetted as a Nature Refuge through an act of the Queensland Parliament or through Voluntary Declarations under the Queensland Vegetation Management Act 1999.
Q. What about weeds?
A. Invasive weeds threaten the integrity of natural landscapes right across Australia, so weed control needs to be considered. Due to the excellent condition of the rainforest purchased there is minimal occurrence of weeds; however Rainforest Rescue employs a manager to look after the land
Q. What else is being done to help the daintree rainforest?
A. We are also helping the Daintree through regenerating the rainforest. We are planting 10,000 rainforest trees each year, restoring degraded areas and expanding upon existing wildlife corridors. The trees are planted on Rainforest Rescue properties and we also help National Park staff and private landowners. All of the trees are propagated and grown in our own nursery.
Q. Does rainforest rescue receive any government funding?
A. Rainforest Rescue was established to provide opportunities to contribute to rainforest conservation. We are committed to building relationships with individuals, philanthropists, businesses and grants making organisations through which the majority of our funding is sourced. We also receive limited government funding for specific outcomes. We do not receive government funding for our Daintree Buy Back and Protect Forever Project.
Q. Can i visit the properties?
A. Yes. For further information see our Daintree Buy Back and Protect Forever self-drive tour. If you are planning a trip to the area please contact us, and where possible, we can help facilitate a personal tour. We would love to share with you our work to protect the Daintree forever.
Q. Are my donations tax deductible?
A. Yes, any donation over $2 is tax deductible and Rainforest Rescue will issue receipts.