Lay of the land
There are inconsistencies in the terms of the Bertiehaugh purchase that raise questions about its redesignation as the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve. The Queensland government has stated that, 'While Bertiehaugh Station is referred to by some as the 'Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve', it is, in fact, a term lease for pastoral purposes administered under the Queensland Land Act 1994. The registered lessee is Silverback Properties as trustee for the Terri Irwin Family Trust.'
Andrew Buckley, director of regional services for the Queensland government, confirmed that term lease 233308 'must only be used for pastoral purposes', specifically agriculture or grazing. 'If the lessee wants to pursue purposes other than grazing or agriculture as the primary land use, then the existing lease will not accommodate such uses.
'[Irwin] would need to apply for a new lease over the land. Any such application would be investigated following due process, including ... consideration of native title implications.'