A MILLION dollar piece of land in the foothills of Buderim has been purchased so the community can enjoy it forever.
The Sunshine Coast Council bought the 27.5ha eucalypt and rainforest habitat off Crosby Hill Rd in Buderim for $1.25 million with the $70 per ratepayer environment levy.
The property is one of the largest remaining vegetated lots in Buderim and is home to Australia's biggest owl, the powerful owl Ninox strenua. It is also a koala habitat.
The new acquisition will bring the total amount of land purchased with the environment levy to more than 2860ha. Just over one third (1052ha) has been acquired since 2008.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the council aimed to maintain and improve the biodiversity of the region with the environment levy.
"Protecting environmentally significant land and improving connectivity between habitat areas are part of that aim,” he said.
"Our latest purchase is perfectly positioned on the western side of Crosby Hill Rd to assist to protect and connect the nearby habitat of several council bushland reserves located on the southern escarpment of Buderim.”
Division 7 Councillor Ted Hungerford said the property had been privately owned "for the past 100 years by an early pioneering logging and farming family”.
Cr Jamieson revealed in the last ordinary meeting exactly how much of the Sunshine Coast was developed and the figure may surprise.
Only 9% of the entire region was "urbanised”
"As much as 54% Sunshine Coast region is native vegetation,” Cr Jamieson said.
"Of the balance, 5% is plantation forest, 5% caneland or former canelands, 27% is rural production.”
Environment portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the new property was home to numerous important and vulnerable plant and wildlife species.
It is also considered as a "medium value koala habitat area” and a significant corridor for koalas.
"Amongst the tall habitat trees, we have discovered some of the largest grey gum (Eucalyptus propinqua) and pink bloodwood (Corymbia intermedia) trees on the Sunshine Coast,” Ms McKay said.
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