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”.
Highlighting the importance of the various land tenures in the protected area estate and the role they play in aiding endangered species, the estimated population of wild northern hairy-nosed wombats – one of the world’s rarest species – has almost doubled since the successful reintroduction program commenced at the Richard Underwood Nature Refuge in 2009. There’s more cause for celebration, with the arrival of the species’ first joey recorded in Queensland for five years!
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.