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Ecotourism value of Queensland’s national parks flagged in Annual Report
The Queensland Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing (NPSR) 2016/17 Annual Report shows work is underway to transform Queensland’s parks into ecotourism drawcards.
Explaining how the Department was focused on revitalising key visitor and tourism destinations, acting Queensland National Parks Minister Mick de Brenni stated “Queensland’s national parks are truly world class.
“From world famous beaches, to ancient tropical rainforests, red sandy deserts and the largest coral reef in the world.
“We have five natural World Heritage Areas, and Queenslanders visit our national parks 51 million times a year.
“The Government thinks Queensland should be the eco-tourism capital of the country.
“This is in stark contrast to the former ... government. They tried to trash our national parks, opening them up for inappropriate commercial development, removing ‘conservation’ as the sole object of the Nature Conservation Act and then allowed rolling term leases for grazing on national parks.
“We have reinstated these important protections and we are proving we can invest in our parks to create tourism jobs while protecting them.
“And thanks to our dedicated rangers, we managed to get most of our parks and forests reopened within three months of Tropical Cyclone Debbie making landfall, which was an excellent achievement.
“We’re also restoring the ranger workforce after the savage cuts inflicted by the LNP.
“The LNP slashed $10 million from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service salaries budget in 2012. That meant QPWS had around 60 fewer active and paid rangers in 2014 while the non-ranger workforce in QPWS was cut by 25%.”
Minister de Brenni said the department was also focused on progressing the Protected Area Strategy and joint national park management arrangements with Traditional Owners in the North Stradbroke Island area and on Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal land national parks.
He added “revitalising national parks and enhancing nature-based recreational opportunities is a priority, as is protecting the natural and cultural values of our national parks.
“In the last year, the department has also delivered significant infrastructure to improve the visitor experience, including stage one of the Daisy Hill Koala Bushland Action Plan, which is almost complete.
“The department will also continue to implement its action plan under the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, which includes the Raine Island recovery project to help protect green sea turtles.
“We will continue to invest in our national parks to make them world-class tourist destinations, and preserve them for many generations to come.”
Key points from the NPSR annual report:
• $12.8 million in conservation and compliance funding as part of the $17.2 million Great Barrier Reef Joint Field Management Program
• $24.2 million in infrastructure and plant and equipment to support visitor experience to national parks
• Almost $9 million for fire management
• $8.4 million for pest management
Images: Daintree National Park (below) and Lamington National Park (below).
27th September 2017 - VISITORS RETURN TO THE WHITSUNDAYS AFTER CYCLONE DEBBIE
14th June 2017 - SECTORS BACKED BY QUEENSLAND BUDGET
12th June 2017 - $3.3 MILLION REVAMP FOR BRISBANE’S DAISY HILL KOALA CENTRE
29th March 2017 - QUEENSLAND TOURISM INDUSTRY RALLIES FOLLOWING CYCLONE DEBBIE
3rd February 2016 - MASSIVE GROWTH IN BUSHWALKING AS ‘GREEN EXERCISE’ AND HOLIDAY ACTIVITY
23rd July 2015 - ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA’S ECO CERTIFICATION GAINS GLOBAL APPROVAL
12th October 2014 - NEW TOURISM ACTIVITIES IN NATIONAL PARKS THREATENS NATURAL HERITAGE
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