Help Little Locals protect the Daintree – Frequently Asked Questions

Little Locals Early Learning has partnered with the Rainforest 4 Foundation to support the purchase of land – Lot 11 Buchanan Creek Road – in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest.

Your generous support will help us to purchase this 1.02-hectare patch of rainforest, so it can become protected as part of Daintree National Park estate.

We’ve provided answers to the most frequently asked questions on the purchase and protection of Lot 11 Buchanan Creek Road.

Help Little Locals protect the Daintree – Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to:

  • Where is the Daintree Rainforest?
  • Isn’t the Daintree protected in a National Park and World Heritage Area?
  • Why is the Daintree important?
  • What are the threats to the Daintree Rainforest?
  • Why are we purchasing Lot 11 Buchanan Creek Road?
  • Will I be able to visit the property?
  • How are the Traditional Owners involved?
  • Who will own the land?
  • Have you successfully purchased land for conservation before?
  • Can you trust the Queensland Government to protect the Daintree National Park?
  • Is the property at risk of bushfire?
  • How will the property be purchased?
  • How much will the property cost?
  • What happens if we exceed our fundraising target?
  • What happens if we do not reach our fundraising target?
  • How can I donate?
  • About Little Locals Early Learning
  • About Rainforest 4 Foundation

Where is the Daintree Rainforest?

The Daintree Rainforest is 1,200 square kilometres of tropical rainforest in Far North Queensland that extends from Mossman Gorge (80km north of Cairns) to Cape Tribulation (110km north of Cairns).

The rainforest is continuous from the mountain to the sea, and when many people speak of the Daintree, they are often referring to this area, which is known as the Daintree Lowland Rainforest.

Isn’t the Daintree protected in a National Park and World Heritage Area?

Two-thirds of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest was excluded from the Daintree National Park and World Heritage Area that was declared in 1988.

In 1982, a pro-development Queensland State Government rezoned leasehold and freehold land in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest, enabling a developer to subdivide it into 1,137 blocks. This resulted in the clearing and development of high conservation value rainforest for housing and over 50 kilometres of road.  

A developer created 1,137 blocks in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest. 

Why is the Daintree important?

The Daintree Lowland Rainforest is the oldest rainforest on Earth, existing continuously for over 120 million years. It holds exceptionally high biodiversity and conservation value and is part of the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest remaining in Australia.

Rainforests once covered much of Australia, however, as conditions became drier, the rainforest contracted to remnants along the east coast. The flora of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest contains an almost complete record of the evolution of plant life on Earth, including extremely ancient flowering plant families found nowhere else. The Daintree Lowland Rainforest also provides a refuge for many unique species of fauna including the Southern Cassowary, Bennett’s Tree-kangaroo, and Musky Rat-kangaroo.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature said,

“Within the region, the Daintree River to Cape Tribulation coast has a special status. It is the last surviving, essentially intact tropical lowland rainforest in Australia. It has one of the highest diversities of plant families anywhere in the world. Its rarity, fame and superlative beauty make it one of the foundations of the region’s economy. It is the only place in the world where two World Heritage Areas meet.”

What are the threats to the Daintree Rainforest?

There has been a constant push to develop the Daintree Lowland Rainforest since the 1980s. This includes calls to further develop freehold properties, build a bridge over the Daintree River, upgrade roads, and supply mains electricity, supporting further development.

More development would fragment the rainforest and continue to destroy this precious ecosystem. 

Purchasing land for conservation prevents clearing of the rainforest

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Why are we purchasing Lot 11 Buchanan Creek Road? 

To fulfill our vision to protect and conserve the Daintree, we need to purchase all undeveloped freehold properties in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest. Purchasing land for conservation prevents further clearing of the rainforest.

We aim to purchase as many properties as we can and protect them in Daintree National Park, as this will provide the highest available level of protection.

Not only do we want to halt further development, but we also want the negative impacts of the rural residential subdivision to be reversed.

Lot 11 Buchanan Creek Road is a freehold property created through the subdivision of land in 1982.

At the moment, Lot 11 Buchanan Creek Road can be developed for housing subject to approval by the Douglas Shire Council. Many nearby properties have been developed for housing and we want to prevent this from happening to Lot 11.

The current owners have agreed to sell the property on agreeable terms and conditions. We are grateful that they have given us the opportunity to purchase this land, so we can ensure it is protected from development.

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Will I be able to visit the property?

Yes. We want donors and supporters to see the rainforest they are helping to purchase and protect.

It is easy to visit the Daintree Lowland Rainforest as a respectful tourist. You can take a day trip from Cairns or Port Douglas, or stay for as long as you like.

You have many options for accommodation and tours in the Daintree Rainforest. Self-drive tours are popular, and Lot 11 is accessible by a 2WD vehicle.

How are the Traditional Owners involved?

The Eastern Kuku Yalanji are the Traditional Owners of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest. Their Country (Bubu) runs along the east coast of Far North Queensland and includes the land and sea between Port Douglas and just south of Cooktown. The Eastern Kuku Yalanji have a rich cultural identity and strong spiritual connection to the Daintree Rainforest.

In 2007, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji signed a series of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) with the Queensland Government. These agreements recognise Eastern Kuku Yalanji's rights to be custodians and managers of their traditional country. Under these agreements, Eastern Kuku Yalanji will be involved in managing Daintree National Park.

The Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation represents the Eastern Kuku Yalanji in the management of Bubu. They employ Jabalbina Rangers who work on Country. The properties acquired by the Rainforest 4 Foundation will be protected in the Daintree National Park and managed by the Traditional Owners, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji, as part of the Daintree National Park Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land (CYPAL) estate.

Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation and the Rainforest 4 Foundation have a partnership agreement to purchase and protect land in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest.

Kuku Yalanji Bama with Kelvin Davies of Rainforest 4 Foundation

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Who will own the land?

The property will be acquired by the Rainforest 4 Foundation. We are registered with the Australian Government (ASIC) as a Company Limited by Guarantee (a non-profit organisation) and with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

The properties acquired by the Rainforest 4 Foundation are transferred to the Jabalbina Yalanji Land Trust and will be managed by the Traditional Owners, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji, as part of the Daintree National Park Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land (CYPAL) estate.

The Indigenous peoples on Cape York Peninsula and the Queensland Government are negotiating the ownership and management of national parks. Discussions with Eastern Kuku Yalanji commenced in 2017.

Key features of jointly managed national parks include:

  • National park land is owned by an Aboriginal land holding entity (either an Aboriginal Corporation or Land Trust).
  • Decisions about park management are made by the Aboriginal land holding entity and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).
  • Work on the park is undertaken by the Aboriginal land holding entity in partnership with QPWS.

We will need to pay rates to the Douglas Shire Council until the property is managed as part of the Daintree National Park Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land (CYPAL) estate. Purchasing the property and transferring it into the national park’s estate may take up to 12 months.

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Have you successfully purchased land for conservation before?

Yes. In the past two years, Rainforest 4 have purchased eight Daintree Rainforest properties for conservation. The most recent purchase was Lot 157 Cape Tribulation Road at Diwan in March 2021.

Since 1992, non-profit organisations have purchased seventy-five properties for conservation.

Properties purchased for conservation

Can you trust the Queensland Government to protect the Daintree National Park?

While nothing is guaranteed, we can be reassured by the Queensland Government’s track record related to the Daintree National Park.

While in 1982 the Queensland Government approved a rural residential subdivision of 1,137 properties in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest, the demographics of the Queensland population have since changed significantly. The gerrymander that kept the National Party and Joh Bjelke-Petersen in power from 1967 to 1987 has now been abolished.

Since the declaration of the Daintree National Park in 1988, the Queensland Government has ensured this land has remained protected.

The current Queensland Government says it will not commit more money to the acquisition of freehold land in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest, however, it has still contributed to the conservation of the Daintree in the following ways.

  • In the early 1990s, the Queensland Government introduced a policy preventing the extension of mains electricity north of the Daintree River, which remains in place today.
  • In 1993, the Australian and Queensland Governments funded the Daintree Rescue Program, providing $23 million.
  • In 2004, the Douglas Shire Council placed a moratorium on development while a new planning scheme was developed. This placed limits on development in specified areas north of the Alexandra Range and removed development rights from 350 freehold properties.
  • Between 2006 and 2008, the Queensland State Government created the Daintree Buyback Scheme to purchase land impacted by the Douglas Shire Council planning scheme. Landholders were given the option to sell to the state government or be compensated for the loss of development rights. The Queensland government provided $15 million, and 330 properties were acquired for the Daintree National Park estate.

Daintree National Park estate shown in light green

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Is the property at risk of bushfire?

As this is one of the wettest places in Australia, the bushfire risk is extremely low.

How will the property be purchased?

This property will be acquired in the same way as other freehold properties in Australia. A contract for sale is exchanged, a deposit paid and a settlement date set. The purchaser and the seller will both have a conveyancer acting on their behalf.

As a charity, we are providing the opportunity for people to make donations to support the purchase and protection of land. We are unable to structure an opportunity for people to be joint owners, to have a share, or to have their name on the title.

How much will the property cost?

The acquisition of Lot 11 Buchanan Creek Road will cost $102,000.

This includes all acquisition costs such as conveyancing and local government rates for one year, after which they won’t be payable.

We are exempt from government transfer fees (stamp duty).

As Lot 11 Buchanan Creek Road is 1.02 hectares in size, this represents a price of $10.00 per square metre.

Daintree Lowland Rainforest

What happens if we exceed our fundraising target?

The Rainforest 4 Foundation is registered with the Australian Charites and Non-for-profits Commission and we are required to spend the donations we receive on the cause as specified in our constitution.

All monies raised in excess of $102,000 will be used to purchase additional property. There are another 207 properties in the Daintree we would like to purchase and protect. 

What happens if we do not reach our fundraising target?

The Rainforest 4 Foundation is registered with the Australian Charites and Non-for-profits Commission and we are required to spend the donations we receive on the cause as specified in our constitution.

All funds raised will be spent on Daintree land purchase and protection, or, if necessary, for other conservation projects in the Daintree Rainforest, for example, planting trees.

However, Rainforest 4 have successfully purchased land in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest for conservation eight times in the past twenty months. We are confident of reaching the fundraising target.

How can I donate?

Online: Simply follow this link to our donation page.

Cheque or money order: Send a cheque or money order made out to the Bunya Sustainability Fund to 27 Tuckeroo Avenue, Mullumbimby, NSW 2482.

PayPal: Donate using your PayPal account on our website.

Direct or cash deposit: Make a cash deposit at any branch of the ANZ Bank or their agents, or donate by direct deposit.

Our account details are:

Bank: ANZ Bank

Account Name: Bunya Sustainability Fund

BSB: 012 742

Account No. 2093 50036

If you contribute by direct or cash deposit, please send an email to [email protected] with the details of the amount. Please also provide your name and postal address so we can issue a receipt.

About Little Locals Early Learning

Little Locals Early Learning is family owned and operated early learning group in South East Queensland.

Co-owner Tim Searles visited the Daintree Rainforest in 2020 with his family. At that time, Tim saw that many rainforest properties were for sale and that their development for housing would degrade the Earth's oldest rainforest.

Tim then spoke with Kelvin Davies, the founder of the Rainforest 4 Foundation, and they agreed to collaborate on the purchase and protection of Daintree properties.

Little Locals is a proud and passionate advocate of wildlife conservation and living sustainably.

Its partnership with Rainforest 4 Foundation is just another step on its journey as an early learning group that embraces a deep respect for the environment in its teaching and care, practices and values.

You can see how Little Locals Early Learning Centres are helping to save the Daintree Rainforest here

About the Rainforest 4 Foundation

The Rainforest 4 Foundation is an Australian Company Limited by Guarantee. We are registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

We are also registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

Australian Company Number (ACN): 628358323

Australian Business Number (ABN):  49628358323

If you have further questions, please contact us or call Kelvin Davies on 0437 423 119.

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