Gerard O'Neill. Photo: Peter Morris
It's difficult for some of us to imagine what life on a remote reserve like Carnarvon Station Reserve, in Central Queensland, must be like - difficult to imagine the remoteness, and also difficult to imagine just how special a place it is.
My visit to Carnarvon
In April this year, I had the pleasure of visiting Carnarvon and meeting the Bush Heritage families that live and work there, protecting the reserve on your behalf.
Travelling from east to west, we moved through pastoral land, then national park and lastly through the protected bush of your Carnarvon Station Reserve.
I couldn't help but reflect on the photos and reports showing the condition of the land when we acquired it in 2001. Stressed by drought and feral animals, the reserve was very different from now.
Thanks to active conservation management combined with the torrential rains of early 2011, the land has made an incredible recovery. I watched the rosellas and the red-necked parrots in flight, and admired a red-neck wallaby as it went about its day. I was struck by the achievements supporters like you have been able to make in such a short time.
The main access road to Carnarvon was washed out in early 2011.
The challenges of access
The rains, however, have also posed a significant challenge, which made my visit an eye-opening experience.
Carnarvon has become a challenging place to access, both for visitors like me and for the families who live there to carry out their vital conservation work. It took 3.5 hours for us to cover thlae 190km from the nearest accessible town of Injune to Carnarvon homestead.
By the time we had entered Carnarvon, we had travelled on a dozen different kinds of roads, the last of which was a small access track through our neighbour's property. Without it, the reserve would be inaccessible by road.
Reserve managers past and present have had an important role in garnering the support and collaboration of local communities, including these neighbours, who've generously allowed us to use this track for many months.
Thanks to supporters like you, who responded to our call in 2011, we have the means to repair our own access road and are just waiting for the weather to allow us to start that work.
I watched the way the children at Carnarvon responded to Steve Heggie, the Regional Manager who accompanied me on my trip, as though he were an uncle, and I was reminded of the importance of the Bush Heritage family.
Looking after the people that look after the bush is an important part of conservation, and by supporting us, you're helping to do just that.
“Thanks for being part of our family.”
And don't forget to read the McLean family's story about life at Carnarvon .
Gerard O'Neill, CEO