Land once slated for the world’s first commercially-operated international spaceport has this year been given back to Traditional Owners. Two months after the handback ceremony in Cairns in May, Andrew Picone from the Australian Conservation Foundation looks at the importance of the landmark decision and the benefits of Aboriginal ownership and joint management of national parks.
Ten years equals almost 5000 turtle nests protected, 110,000 feral animals removed, 27 tonnes of fishing nets cleaned up on Queensland’s ocean foreshore and much more! The Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers can be mightily proud of their achievements as this fantastic program completes its first decade.
Adele Pedder of the Australian Marine Conservation Society delves into the importance of marine protected areas and the risk associated with exposing the proposed Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve to intensive fishing practices.
Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles has introduced a Bill to Queensland Parliament to create a new category of protected area: Special Wildlife Reserves. NPAQ President Michelle Prior looks at the increasingly important role played by private protected areas and cautions that there is potential for public protected areas to become more focused on nature-based recreation and tourism.
The State Budget has allocated an extra $40 million over two years for national parks, however only $5 million of that will potentially go towards operational funding and conservation planning. The rest is essentially a tourism spend disguised as environmental dollars. Learn why the Queensland Government’s boast of a record environmental spend isn’t all it’s made out to be.
Many Queensland national parks were heavily impacted as Cyclone Debbie cut a path of destruction centred on the Whitsunday and Mackay regions, before tracking south and creating widespread flooding. NPAQ Conservation Officer Laura Hahn assesses the damage and turns the spotlight on the mammoth clean-up effort.
Citizen science initiatives provide an opportunity for nature lovers to get involved directly with conservation and through doing so gain a greater understanding and respect for it. NPAQ industry placement student Lucy Hollingsworth, from the University of Queensland, looks at some of the benefits – for scientists and the individuals volunteering to support their research.
State of the Park 2017, authored by NPAQ member Wade Lewis, highlights positive developments over the past year including advances made by the State Government in its approach to national park acquisition, planning and management.
After being confronted by hordes of tourists jostling for position and blaring music at Uluru, NPAQ President Michelle Prior ponders whether the futureof Australia’s national parks may be heading the same way as America where there has been a loss of the spirit of wilderness preservation.