Ipswich couple donate $3m property to aid conservation
AN IPSWICH couple has donated their $3 million cattle property in the name of conservation.
In the process, Robin and Kathleen Stock have kick-started the Stock Foundation - a conservation and research organisation that will be run by the Queensland Trust for Nature.
Its base will be the picturesque 2000-hectare Aroona Estate at Mt Mort, south-west of Rosewood.
Dr Stock - a retired pathologist - said he gifted the property because he wanted to make sure it was protected long after he and his wife are gone.
The Stock Foundation will aim to see if cattle grazing can co-exist with natural flora and fauna on the property.
"Aroona is a 40-year labour of love - the property grew from a single parcel of land we bought in the 1970s," Dr Stock said.
"We've always had a great love for nature and would like to see it cared for, even when we're no longer around to enjoy it ourselves.
"Our hope of having the property managed for both production and conservation aligned with QTFN's vision to protect threatened ecosystems and wildlife without locking up land."
QTFN Trustee Robert Allan said the impacts of the Stock's generosity extended beyond Aroona.
"QTFN's purpose is to protect Queensland's natural environment by acquiring and increasing the value of private land under conservation.
"The property is made up of nine different ecosystems, eight of which are listed as "of concern" biodiversity status or have low representation in Queensland's other protected areas.
"Aroona has also operated for more than 50 years as a cattle farm supporting a breeding herd of up to 350 adult cows.
"If successful, what we find could be a game changer for the management of Queensland's 145 million hectares of grazing land."
Negotiations are also underway to approve Aroona as a release site for a range of threatened species including the koala and spotted-tailed quoll.