From the President – Winter 2023 – National Parks Association of Queensland

From the President – Winter 2023

Author: Susanne Cooper

Winter has definitely arrived, and I’m really enjoying the crisp days, cool nights and great weather for walking out in nature.

I recently spent time in Carnarvon Gorge National Park, Lady Elliot  Island (southern Great Barrier Reef) plus Lamington National Park.

The diversity of ecosystems and landscapes is inspiring. Luckily we are able to experience and appreciate them through our National and Marine Parks.

Two interesting developments over the past few months are an indication of positive change in how we manage our natural environment.

Firstly, the recent announcement that Victoria is stopping all logging of native forests by the end of this year. This has been brought forward by 7 years, from the initial date of 2030.

Hopefully this will add impetus to Queensland and other States for similar action, although we are seeing this logging in SEQ end by 2026.

Prof David Lindenmayer – a leading forest ecologist – commented on the extensive work required to rehabilitate logged areas where the dominant regrowth species are largely unsuitable as food sources for significant fauna species such as koalas and greater gliders. Interestingly, 86% of Victoria’s logged native timber is turned into low value products such as wood chips and paper pulp.

Secondly, you have probably heard of the Australian government’s recent announcement to create the new Macquarie Island Marine Park to over 475,000 sq km. This is an area larger
than Germany!

This World Heritage-listed island, which lies halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica, is a breeding ground for millions of vulnerable seabirds and endangered wildlife, including nesting albatross, elephant and fur seals, whales and the royal penguin, which is found nowhere else on Earth.

The vast majority of the park will be a marine sanctuary, the strongest level of protection possible, which will give world-leading protection to a unique environment.

Mountain biking is a controversial issue as it is a rapidly growing outdoor activity that puts increased pressure on our natural areas – including National Parks. More on this in current and future issues of Protected.

The annual dinner was a most enjoyable evening with a great range of attendees, including groups of our long term members, senior officers from QPWS, Councillors and representatives from other environmental organisations. We’re already thinking about how to celebrate our 95th birthday in 2025.

A huge milestone!

Finally, welcome to our new Environment Minister, Leanne Linard, who enjoys camping with her kids in National Parks. We look forward to developing a constructive

Susanne Cooper
President, NPAQ

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