The project is targeted at the Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) and the Long nosed potaroo (Potorous tridactylus) and will create around 230Ha of nature refuge within existing high quality potaroo and koala habitat, as well as around 15 Ha of new habitat plantings (also protected). Plantings consist of 80% koala feed trees and 20% habitat plantings, constituting an ecosystem approach to this conservation effort. The project is also consistent with existing methodologies under the current Carbon Farming legislation, as a carbon sink forest and earns carbon credits - ACCU's as an additional annual income stream for the farm. This project represents a significant win-win for Jingeri.
Aside from the obvious conservation benefits, this project will facilitate higher plant and fungi diversity within the re-vegetation areas, which will in turn have significant positive benefits for our soil biology. This is especially important given the marginal nature of the soils at baseline. It will also assist the soils to hold water, thereby reducing surface run off and subsequently reducing erosion on the hill slopes. Improving soil moisture levels will also improve the growth and diversity of pasture grasses both within the project area as well as adjacent to it. Finally, we anticipate that our input costs for weed mitigation will be reduced over time as the habitat areas mature.
All of these things will have distinct economic benefits for our production systems, through improved pasture growth rates, higher carrying capacities for cattle and reduced costs of weed mitigation.
The project is now in its third year of development. Initially over the first five years, land and weed management is conducted by an external service provider who under contract with the QLD Govt, is responsible for the initial re-vegetation work and its ongoing maintenance the until the habitat is well established. We will exclude stock from this area during this time but following that will be able to include the project area in our rotational grazing regime. By factoring in the management savings to us of the initial 5 year remediation works along with the income stream from ACCU's accrued over the 25 year contracted Carbon Farming Project arm, is what makes this a marginally profitable venture in it's own right (carbon farming alone is not profitable). The improved grazing benefits will allow us more flexibility with our herd numbers and a greater carrying capacity and this translates to higher profitability of our grazing enterprise.