The Star Entertainment Group has announced plans to create a nature-based farm that will help manage its future carbon emissions following the purchase of a 170-hectare stretch of land near Gympie in South-East Queensland.

Named Corymbia, after the genus of bloodwood tree found onsite, the land will be used for widescale tree planting to support biodiversity and provide a new habitat for endangered species, particularly koalas.

Partnering with local farmers, The Star will rewild three hectares for every hectare of its operations across the company’s three resorts in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

“We will be planting over 100,000 native trees over the next five years to not only generate Australian carbon credit units but also to establish a koala sanctuary and create habitats for local, endangered species,” said The Star Entertainment Group’s Head of Sustainability, Amanda Visser.

“We have completed initial biodiversity assessments to ensure this regeneration project supports local, native forest cover and we can measure the impact we are having over time.”

After two years in planning, the project will put the company in a stronger position to reach its target of net-zero scope 1 and scope 2 carbon emissions for wholly owned and operated properties by 2030.

“As an organisation, we’re committed to delivering positive impacts on the communities and cities in which we operate,” said The Star Entertainment Group’s Managing Director and CEO, Robbie Cooke.

“Corymbia is the evolution of our wider sustainability strategy and will help us achieve our goals.

“We look forward to unveiling further announcements about this exciting, and innovative project in the near future.”

The Star is also hoping to use produce grown on the farm for its restaurants, bars and hotels.

“The bigger picture is to fully engage our teams in sustainable agriculture and biodiversity education and it’s already creating great interest,” Visser said.

The Star Gold Coast Executive Chef Uday Huja has visited the farm and believes it will provide an important food source for the business.

“It’s every chef’s dream to have a farm,” Huja said.

“Having a direct touchpoint from planting to harvesting not only provides endless inspiration but a deep understanding of what is best practice in farming and agriculture and how that directly connects with a culinary product.”

Ndevr Environmental is providing carbon management expertise for the project and Noosa Landcare has completed wide-scale soil testing ahead of planting, which is set to begin in Autumn 2023.

The Star’s broader emissions reduction project is being guided by the Odonata Foundation, which developed this environmental innovative.

“Organisations can use their carbon offset priorities as the driver to do something that adds incredible value to the business, people and communities, with no real additional costs,” said Odonata CEO Sam Marwood.

“The Star Entertainment Group has demonstrated real dedication to innovatively supporting environment and community, over and above what is required.

“It has been a couple of years of collaborative planning. Along with the strategic and commercial aspects, it’s been outstanding how much engagement there has been on the detailed aspects of the project, like how to select the right trees to attract koalas, how best to help threatened species, improve biodiversity and river health, and work alongside local communities.”