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Federal Government will put the ‘national’ into national parks

Federal Government will put the ‘national’ into national parks
July 27, 2011

The Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) has welcomed moves by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to add Commonwealth protection to Australia's national parks.

VNPA spokesman Phil Ingamells explained "this will truly put the 'national' into national parks. It is a groundbreaking move to ensure the long-term integrity of Australia's most loved natural places and vital habitat for threatened plants and animals.

"Importantly, it allows Australia to honour its commitment to international treaties designed to protect the world's natural heritage.

"It won't change the way national parks are managed but as the minister says, it will make sure that there will be 'no backward steps' in that management.

"Most people already assume that national parks have national protection, as they do in most countries of the world. But almost all of our most important natural areas are actually set up and managed under the laws of each state and territory."

Minister Burke announced that he has written to all states and territories seeking their views on a plan to amend federal laws to better protect national parks.

Ingamells added "under the proposed federal law, states will still be in control of setting park boundaries, and there will be no change to existing activities in parks.

"What it does mean is that the protection offered by state laws will be backed up by national law. Our national parks will be truly part of our national heritage, securely protected by all Australians, for all Australians, for all time.

"It will also make sure that politically motivated interference in park protection, such as the Victorian Government's flawed plan to re-introduce cattle grazing to the Alpine National Park, will be more difficult in the future.

"It will be good for our native plants and animals, good for tourism, and good for our children's children."

Image: Victoria's Grampians National Park. 



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