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.
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.