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New Parks and Additions Add to Protected Area Estate


Queensland’s national parks have just grown by 59,000 hectares as the state continues to work toward doubling its protected area estate by 2030. 

The latest declarations include the 620-hectare Malbon Thompson Range National Park near Cairns, the new 43,330-hectare Lakes National Park west of Charters Towers and the 6000-hectare expansion of Eurimbula National Park near Gladstone.

Supporters of Protect Beautiful Queensland, a campaign to double Queensland’s protected areas by 2030, recently spent several days photographing Turkey Station, the former pastoral property that has now been added to Eurimbula National Park (pictured in the image above by Pew/Kerry Trapnell). 

The traditional country of the Bailai, Gurang, Gooreng Gooreng, and Taribelang Bunda Peoples includes habitat for koalas, greater gliders and the water mouse as well as roost sides for many species of shorebirds including the critically endangered great knot and eastern curlew.

The property’s coastline and adjacent waters are part of the Great Barrier Reef Coast marine park, and it borders Eurimbula National Park to the south, making it a vital link in the conservation estate. 

Australia has signed up to the global target of protecting 30 percent of its land and sea by 2030, and the state released a 10 year protected areas strategy in 2020 committing to double protected areas and reach 17%.

Pew Charitable Trusts Queensland Manager Andrew Picone welcomed the latest national park expansions but called for government ambition for statewide protected area growth to be matched with a detailed plan.

“Areas like Turkey Station that create important links between existing protected areas are a vital piece of the puzzle for Queensland to create a world class National Park network.”

“Today’s announcement is a welcome step toward the government’s goal of doubling Queensland’s protected areas estate by 2030, but there is a huge gap between the state’s ambition and our current rate of progress.”

Queensland Conservation Council campaigner Nicky Moffat is hopeful the government’s vocal support for protected areas will be backed up by a boost in funding . 

“As Australia’s most biodiverse state, Queensland’s natural landscapes are home to plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. Announcements like this one help ensure they’re kept healthy for our kids and grandkids to enjoy.”

“At just over 8 percent, Queensland’s total percentage of National Parks and protected areas is among the lowest in the country. The 10-year protected area strategy was a good start, but a strategy must be matched with planning and funding to make it happen.”

Miles Government to Release 30-Year Queensland Sustainable Timber Industry Framework

On 26 June 2024, the Miles Labor Government released the terms of reference for a landmark 30-year Queensland Sustainable Timber Industry Framework, backed by a $200 million package to support the future of the industry.

The Queensland Sustainable Timber Industry Framework will include six priority areas:

  • Priority Area 1 – Securing sustainable timber supply.

  • Priority Area 2 – Adding value to forest and timber supply chains.

  • Priority Area 3 – Realising the potential of forest-related markets for industry, landholders and the environment.

  • Priority Area 4 – A future forest workforce and strong timber industry.

  • Priority Area 5 – Growing Queensland’s protected area estate.

  • Priority Area 6 – Fostering First Nations forestry employment and enterprise opportunities.

NPAQ was part of the former Native Timber Advisory Panel, and CEO Chris Thomas will be further assessing the framework to understand what it means for protected areas and rangers. 

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World Heritage bid for Cape York Peninsula

In partnership with Cape York Traditional Owner groups, the Australian and Queensland Labor Governments have nominated the Cultural Landscapes of Cape York Peninsula to Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. 

Images supplied by the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

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Pew Charitable Trust Says Budget Missing 'Vision for the Environment'

“While we’ve seen great progress on land acquisition for national parks, we need to see a commensurate effort in management funding and support for private protected areas,” Mr Piccone told Mackenzie Scott for the Australian.

Budget missing vision for the environment
Locals ‘Overjoyed’ as 12,000 ha of New SEQ National Parks Announced





In a win for people and nature,12,000 hectares of Southeast Queensland native forests will become national park and conservation park as logging winds up in SEQ State Forests this year. On Friday the Miles Government started the process to dedicate a selection of former logging zones to protected areas. Areas that will soon be protected include: 

  • More than 1000 hectares of Peachester, Beerburrum West and Luttons State Forests which will be added to Glass House Mountains National Park and Glass House Mountains Conservation Park, including habitat for the greater glider and koala

  • About 780 hectares of Yabba, Elgin Vale and Jimna State Forests which will be added to Wrattens National Park north west of Kenilworth, protecting habitat of the tusked frog, glossy black-cockatoo and koala

  • More than 6,400 hectares of Squirrel Creek State Forest between Conondale and Nanango will become Squirrel Creek National Park. 

Sunshine Coast Environment Council Advocacy Manager Narelle McCarthy said, “The protection of these forests will contribute significantly to expanding the region’s protected area estate and the aim of no net loss of vegetation from the 2016 extent within the Sunshine Coast local government area.

“With increasing population growth and urban pressures, these additions provide important connectivity, protect vital habitat and biodiversity while offering opportunities for people to connect with nature.”

Media contact: Ellie McLachlan 0407 753 830

Nature Positives in the Budget

We all know that money doesn’t grow on trees, but it can certainly help grow and protect some. NPAQ’s CEO Chris Thomas has scoured the State Government’s newly released budget to reveal the wins for nature and national parks. 

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Too Long for Eurong: NPAQ Praises $14.65m Investment for Information Centre Reopening

19th May

For decades, NPAQ has been a staunch advocate for increased funding for environmental interpretation and ranger recruitment and retention to better manage Queensland’s protected areas.

Yesterday, those efforts paid off when the Miles Government announced an additional $14.65 million investment over the next three years to reopen the Eurong Information Centre on World-Heritage-listed K’gari, formerly known as Fraser Island…

“Such centres act as an important hub for rangers to engage with the public and promote the environmental and cultural values of protected areas, as well as to manage visitor expectations and experience,” says NPAQ’s CEO Chris Thomas…

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Protecting Beautiful Western Queensland – a Huge Win for Wildlife and Wanderers

18th April

The State government’s landmark acquisition of 352,589-ha Vergemont Station is an unprecedented win for western Queensland’s threatened species and a call to action for nature lovers and adventurers…

“This landmark purchase shows what’s achievable when people work together to protect vital, often unrepresented habitat,” said National Parks Association of Queensland CEO Chris Thomas. 

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Borumba Pumped Hydro Pledged Before Environmental Approvals

8th April

State and federal governments have told the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) the Borumba Pumped Hydro will be operating by 2030, although environmental approvals are not in place…

“As Conondale NP will be inundated slightly we are watching Borumba Pumped Hydro closely to ensure there is no net impact on the national parks,” Mr Thomas said.

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Joint Statement: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park protected area grows

4th April

The protection of the Great Barrier Reef has been further boosted by the addition of 140 islands or parts thereof within the marine park to Queensland’s protected areas estate.

The additional lands, with a combined total of 1,390 hectares, form part of the Miles Government’s Great Barrier Reef Island Arks project…

“These natural habitats provide refuge to countless plant and animal species, many of which are endangered or at risk of extinction,” said Mr Thomas

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Position Statement: Referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice

26th April

The National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ) is pleased to formally voice its support for the upcoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice Referendum, which is set to take place in late 2023…

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Wrestle over future of national parks escalates

22nd February

ABC Radio recording The fight between eco tourism developers and conservationists over national parks is intensifying, with concerns the public will be shut out of more pristine areas…

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Blue & Green Will Be Seen

8th July

NPAQ is painting the town in celebration of our 90th Anniversary On July 22nd Brisbane City Hall and King George Square will be lit up in blue and green to celebrate the National Parks Association of Queensland’s (NPAQ) 90th Anniversary. As NPAQ is Queensland’s oldest environmental not-for-profit organisation and one of the oldest in Australia, it occupies a unique place in our history. “National parks are so important for many reasons, but particularly our health. That’s why we are using the colours blue and green for this momentous occasion, to highlight the importance of blue and green spaces for our wellbeing” said NPAQ President, Susanne Cooper

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Record breaking budget allocation for protected areas

22nd June

The Palaszczuk Government committed a record breaking $262 million over 4 years to the growth and management of Queensland national parks yesterday.”This budget allocation for expansion and management of protected areas was the largest ever by any state government in Australia and the biggest in the history of Queensland or any other State.  So, a record-breaking day!” said NPAQ President, Susanne Cooper.”This much needed funding will support the expansion of national parks in Queensland and is a good step towards Queensland achieving the international standard of 17% projected area estates by 2032.”…

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Tourism industry joins push to expand Queensland’s national parks

5th April

A new alliance made up of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Ecotourism Australia, Queensland First Nations Tourism Council, Queensland Conservation Council, Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Parks Association Queensland – is calling on funding in this year’s budget to establish new national parks and private protected areas; ensure effective management of existing and new protected areas; and to support exceptional nature-based tourism activities…

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National Poll for National Parks

4th March

The President of the National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ), Susanne Cooper, was not surprised by the results of a recent poll released by the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA).The polls confirms – again – that Australians value the connection with, and quiet enjoyment of nature. National Parks provide the main opportunity for this.” Said Ms Cooper

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Queensland parks strategy will take 1,000 years to deliver at current rate

19th November

Queensland conservation groups today released a progress report on the growth of the state’s national parks and private reserves. The report reviews the implementation of the Queensland Government’s Protected Areas Strategy 2020-30 over the 12 months since the strategy was released in October 2020.In the strategy, the Palaszczuk Government sets out a vision for a ‘world class’ protected area system, including a promise to double the area of protected land in Queensland from 8.2% to 17%, an increase of 15 million hectares. However, over the past 12 months, the Queensland Government has only protected 15,699 hectares in new national parks and nature refuges…

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Protecting Queensland’s natural icons

3rd November

Statement by leading tourism and conservation organisationsLeading tourism and conservation organisations support the Queensland Government’s vision of a world class protected area system and a vibrant and sustainable nature-based tourism industry, and have come together to call for increased investment to support expansion and effective management of the state’s protected areas…

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Bee Keeping in QLD National Parks

16th October

Bee keeping in national parks is against the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 however, the QLD Government approved the preparation of legislative amendments to allow beekeeping to continue in national parks until 2044. NPAQ President, Susanne Cooper spoke with ABC about this decision…

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Leaders Explore Common Ground on National Parks and Tourism

18th May

Leaders of Queensland’s peak national parks and tourism organisations met in Brisbane last week to lay the foundations for improved understanding and collaboration to preserve, expand and present national parks and other protected areas across the state with better resourcing…

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Queensland missing out on new national parks due to chronic underfunding

24th February

Five Queensland conservation groups have identified 175 properties with very high biodiversity value that could have been bought and protected since 2015, but were not, because the Queensland government has not budgeted for new national park acquisitions to service its 2015 promise to greatly expand parks and other protected areas…

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Reactions To Sand Mining Report

15th May

…“Public submissions to the Committee show how much Queenslanders value North Stradbroke’s Island’s special environment and cultural heritage, and the overwhelming majority call for destructive sand mining to end by 2019 or earlier”, said Michelle Prior, President of the National Parks Association of Queensland…

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Benefits of national parks

January – Unavailable (published in Courier Mail)