Bush Heritage Australia (BHA) is in the news this week because a young man tragically lost his life while working on Ethabuka Station, a property they own that covers 200,000 hectares in the Simpson Desert, in south-west Queensland. BHA bought the property to help regenerate the site after degradation caused by cattle and feral camels.
Two men left the station on Monday morning in a four wheel drive and became bogged about 16 kilometres from base. After many exhaustive efforts to free the vehicle, they decided to walk back. When the men didn't come home for dinner, the alarm was raised and a search began.
Shortly after midnight, the 30 year old man was found near death by a worker from the neighbouring Carlo Station, about 20 kilometres from the homestead, and the body of his 25 year old friend, known as Mao, was found nearby. The temperature reached 45 degrees that day and they didn't have enough water to sustain them on their long walk home.
BHA station spokesman David Whitelaw said the man had been working on the reserve for a year. "Our staff are trained and provided with the necessary equipment to operate out in the field - it is a terrible tragic event and it is a sad time for everyone who knew him."
Police said it highlights yet again, the need to take sufficient water and proper communication into remote desert areas.
Bush Heritage Australia is a non-profit organisation who purchase land assessed as being of outstanding conservation value, from private owners, to manage as wildlife reserves in perpetuity. It was founded in 1990 by Dr Bob Brown who bought two forested properties in Tasmania, destined for wood-chipping.
BHA is run by an independent board of directors skilled in land management, a small number of paid staff, and many volunteers. BHA Ambassadors:
- Tim Fisher
- Chris Darwin, great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin
- Phillip Adams
- John Williamson
- Roger Woodward