When staff of the Land Planning Branch of the Department of Lands, managers of the Regional Open Space System from its commencement in 1994, recommended that the Glen Rock property in the Gatton hinterland be purchased for public purposes, the intended purpose was as a demonstration cattle property. Given its proximity to the metropolis, the range of vegetation types from Creek Flats to mountaintops and the sensitivity of the land to soil erosion, it was considered that it would make an excellent facility to showcase landcare principles and practice. This was consistent with development as a regional park.
In addition, the property had some potential for construction of a retardation basin to minimise flooding in the Lockyer Valley downstream. Although planning for such a facility was embryonic, purchase of the property for open space preserved that potential.
The property was purchased by the Department of Lands on behalf of the Regional Open Space System on 19 January 1996.
After the restructure of the Regional Open Space System in 1995, and the arrogating of the funds originally earmarked for park development and maintenance back into the general budget of the Department of Local Government and Planning, momentum for a demonstration landcare property faded. In due course a master plan, the Glen Rock Master Plan, was compiled as an exercise in clarifying objectives and siting facilities.
On 14 October 2021 the Parliament resolved to request the Governor-in-Council to dedicate some 3408 ha (the south-eastern half) as an addition to Main Range National Park and some 2891 ha (the north-western half) as a new Main Range Conservation Park. The Minister reported:
“When the Goss government acquired Glen Rock in 1995 for $1.8 million, it was one of the largest cattle grazing properties in South-East Queensland. Glen Rock’s pastoral history still features in heritage infrastructure, such as fences, gates and paddocks, that contribute to the character of the property. This adds to its popularity for outdoor recreational opportunities, including camping, day-use, bushwalking and horseriding….The area contains core habitat for a number of threatened species…including the endangered red goshawk and the vulnerable brush-tailed rock-wallaby, koala, glossy black-cockatoo and greater glider.”
Mr James McDonald, Member for Lockyer, observed:
“Glen Rock has been a jewel in the crown for 20-odd years since the commencement of the Regional Open Space System—I was actually part of the South-East Regional Landscape Strategy Advisory Committee that saw that process occur—but we have been so disappointed with the underperformance of the management of that asset.
I go back to when the Casagrande family owned that wonderful property—15,000-odd acres of highly productive land that was grazed down on the flats and up on the ridge country. Essentially, the rest of the property was kept as the pristine natural environment it is today. Fast-forward to when it was acquired. There was still cattle grazing and management occurring on the facility under the stewardship of Ken Morris—a great family from the local area. Ken and his wife managed the Casuarina day use area there for about four years.”