Too long for Eurong: NPAQ praises $14.65m investment for information centre reopening – National Parks Association of Queensland

Too long for Eurong: NPAQ praises $14.65m investment for information centre reopening

Author: Karin Cox

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. The Information Centre, south of Lake Wabby on the island’s eastern, ocean-facing side,was closed by the Newman Government in 2012.

“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. “It’s been too long without an information centre for Eurong, so NPAQ certainly welcomes the Government’s decision to refurbish and reopen the centre and to better accommodate park rangers.”

The allocated funds will also go towards establishing permanent accommodation for rangers on the island, which falls within Great Sandy National Park, and revamping signage for visitors, aiding public safety. The Hon Leanne Linard, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef says the signage replacement program will “refresh and strengthen messaging, while incorporating information about K’gari’s significance to the Butchulla People, to enrich the experience of visitors to the island.”

The announced spend adds to the $5 million announced last year to support employing an additional:

  • 6 Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers
  • 4 additional Indigenous rangers, in partnership with the Traditional Owners, the Butchulla People
  • 3 specialist staff within the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation.

Reopening the Eurong Information Centre will also aid community safety around wongari (dingoes), as coexistence with Australia’s native dogs on the island requires people to abide by dingo-safe guidelines.

The funding announcement follows the release of recommendations from the 2022 Sustainable Visitor Capacity Management study of K’gari. Focusing mainly on visitor management and compliance requirements, the report’s recommendations stop short of enforcing caps on visitation, instead urging better messaging around regulatory and environmental issues and promoting the ‘leave only footprints’ principle and the Butchulla peoples’ three lores: what is good for the land comes first; do not take or touch anything that does not belong to you; if you have plenty, you must share.

NPAQ is glad to see the Miles Government commit to a fair share of funding for managing and preserving the World’s largest sand island.

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