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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing
    The Honourable Steve Dickson

    Amendments to increase eco-tourism and cut red-tape

    Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing
    The Honourable Steve Dickson

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    Amendments to increase eco-tourism and cut red-tape

    National Parks Minister Steve Dickson has announced the Newman Government will deliver on its election commitment to grow eco-tourism and cut red tape through amendments to the state’s nature conservation laws.

    Mr Dickson said changes to the Nature Conservation Act 1992, the Forestry Act 1959 and the Brisbane Forest Park Act 1977 would increase access and streamline unnecessary and costly regulations currently choking Queensland’s national parks. 

    “These promised changes will deliver on our DestinationQ commitments, enabling Queensland’s struggling eco-tourism industry to become a major contributor to the state’s economy,” Mr Dickson said.

    “We’re providing opportunity and certainty for industry operators by opening up national park estate for recreational and environmentally-friendly facilities which will be designed to enhance the surrounding environment.

    “After listening to industry concerns regarding security of tenure, leases of up to 30 years will be available for operators, with the option of renewals for a further 30 years subject to meeting strict performance criteria.

    “These vital changes will act as a catalyst for strengthening a world-class eco-tourism industry in Queensland, establishing appropriate, environmentally friendly facilities built with natural integration as the most important feature.”

    Mr Dickson said the Nature Conservation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 would also simplify the permit system for pre-existing infrastructure on national park estate land, such as powerlines, water pipelines and telecommunications towers.

    “Streamlining the current approvals process will save time and money for both government and industry operators, and will reduce application processing time by 16 weeks,” he said.

    Additionally, the amendments will reduce the masses of red tape surrounding permits for occupation of State forests under the Forestry Act.

    Under current provisions, operators of CSG well sites, gas and water pipelines are required to obtain separate occupation permits for every 10 hectares of land, and have them renewed every seven years.

    “These burdensome restrictions on both business and government will be removed. However, the change will not alter any company’s obligations to address the rights of other users and will not affect current revenue,” Mr Dickson said.

    “Finally, this bill will repeal the now redundant Brisbane Forest Park Act, as the land it covered is now managed under provisions of the Forestry Act and Nature Conservation Act.

    “This will remove unnecessary legislation, further reducing unnecessary government regulations.”

    [Ends] 13 November, 2012

    Media Contact: Anna Hilton 0408 191 192