In the early hours of this morning, the Palaszczuk government reinstated nature conservation as the primary goal of national park management.
NPAQ congratulates the government, and in particular Minister Miles, for restoring the intention of the Nature Conservation Act to which it was created.
It took a lot to convince the opposition that the purpose of the Nature Conservation Act should be about conserving nature. It was a battle well fought and deserving of the outcome.
Restoring nature conservation as the core objective of national parks, restores the integrity of Queensland’s protected area estate.
This reform reverses the changes made in 2013 and 2014 which broadened and downgraded the protected area concept. Those changes had placed competing interests on a par with nature conservation in national parks.
The inclusion of additional matters (such as commercial, recreation or social) in the very objects of the Act, only served to detract from the primacy of nature conservation and caused confusion to the intention of the protected area estate.
National parks are again protected, and incompatible land uses kept at bay.
The reforms also include a legal requirement for community consultation for park management plans, the reinstatement of ‘national parks (scientific), and the reversion of ‘rolling-term’ leases for grazing on national parks back to ‘term leases’.
The rights and interests of Traditional Owners have been retained and enhanced, through recognition in the joint management of conservation areas on the Cape York Peninsula, streamlining the process of conversion of regional parks to national parks (CYPAL), and the Tenure Resolution Program.
Now that the process of reform has begun, we urge that it continue.