ENDANGERED: Residents of the South Burnett were worried Phebalium distans, a critically endangered plant, was going to be bulldozed. Photo: Contributed
ENDANGERED: Residents of the South Burnett were worried Phebalium distans, a critically endangered plant, was going to be bulldozed. Photo: Contributed Contributed

Rare plant to be preserved

ONE of the world's rarest plants will retain it's foothold near Kingaroy with works underway to help secure the future of the Mt Berryman Phebalium.

South Burnett residents were worried about the species with the scientific name, Phebalium distans, after they discovered surveyor pegs staked out at the Tessmann's Rd reserve.

Listed as critically endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, Phebalium distans is found in just three locations in the world, and Kingaroy is one of them.

Volunteer worker Deb Percy said she was gravely concerned about the welfare of the plant.

"I am worried the dozers will move in and then it will be too late for this pretty shrub," she said.

"I am concerned the council is using people from out of the state to do the impact studies... and this person may not have picked up on that we have an endangered plant growing in this corridor."

Mrs Percy said she originally had great difficulty getting a response from South Burnett Regional Council, but natural resources co-ordinator Denise Whyte eventually replied in an email.

The email informed Mrs Percy the endangered species was being protected.

"South Burnett Regional Council are currently undertaking survey works to assist with the design and placement of erosion and stormwater management controls along the unformed section of Tessmann's Rd North," Mrs Whyte said in her email.

"The project aims to mitigate the effects of stormwater erosion that is currently impacting upon a population of Phebalium distans at the site.

"The project is an outcome of community consultation sessions held with residents and community groups, including the Kingaroy and Districts Society for Growing Australian Plants."

Mrs Percy said she was relieved to hear the council was doing something beneficial for the rare species.

"I nearly fell over backwards with this response," she said.

"I feel a big relief after all the hard work we had put into the reserve."

South Burnett

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