When I was a child, visiting a national park was like going on some grand adventure.
My guide, a birdwatcher, couldn’t disguise his excitement at the return of life we were seeing all around us. The rainforest at Russett Park in Kuranda was once eerily quiet, but now, in a place where birds and insects had been stripped away, there is new life.
The Chair of Tourism and Events Queensland, Brett Godfrey has a message: open up national parks for more ecotourism. This call is both exciting and terrifying, good and bad, hopeful and discouraging.
In 2017 we fought to protect national park land on Lindeman Island under threat of commercial development. Hard work by NPAQ and others made the government and developer back down from revocation – Lindeman Islands National Park tenure is safe, for now. We will continue to be the voice for our state’s precious national parks but we need your support! Your financial assistance means we will continue our work protecting Queensland national parks.
Before we follow other states starry eyed about potential short-term gains, let us examine the costs and benefits of existing ecotourism developments. With this knowledge, there is an opportunity to demonstrate real leadership rather than copy others.
Discussion on a Bill to establish Special Wildlife Reserves (a new class of privately-owned protected area) at an Agriculture & Environment Committee hearing has cleared up some confusion around the name and produced many interesting perspectives, including AgForce’s fears over “locking up land”.