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

    National park recovery underway after Oswald

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

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

    National park recovery underway after Oswald

    The Fraser Island and Cooloola sections of Great Sandy National Park have now reopened following this week's weather event, National Parks Minister Steve Dickson announced today. 

    Mr Dickson said the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) had made reopening the area a priority after it sustained serious damage from ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald. 

    “QPWS staff are doing a great job to assess the damage to our national parks and forests and get them open again," Mr Dickson said. 

    “On Fraser Island, camping is now open again along the beach zones, except One Tree Rocks and Wongai, although beach driving conditions are difficult in areas due to debris and erosion.

    "Campgrounds at Central Station, Waddy Point and Dundubara are also open.

    “And as of this morning just a few areas of this huge park are still closed because of erosion, fallen trees or flooding. 

    “At Cooloola, the beach between Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point is not currently passable." 

    Mr Dickson said more details regarding conditions at Fraser Island and Cooloola and alerts about all other parks and forests are available online at www.nprsr.qld.gov.au

    “According to the information currently at hand, 67 protected areas across Queensland are closed or partially closed due to storm-related damage or flood waters,” he said. 

    Parks will be reopened subject to weather conditions easing and QPWS staff regaining access to assess damage, clear debris, and repair infrastructure. 

    "There is no underestimating the incredible level of damage which occurred throughout Queensland's national parks during this event.  The clean-up will be a long haul, but our QPWS rangers are up to the challenge,” Mr Dickson said.

    “In some areas access roads, tracks, bridges and other infrastructure have been damaged, beaches have been severely eroded, debris including vessels has washed ashore and marine areas have been contaminated by debris and silt.

    “Some areas are still inaccessible and staff will assess those when they can get in there.

    “We ask the public to be patient and careful and observe any signage. Drive to the conditions, be alert to hazards and please let our rangers know about any issues.

    “Check the park pages and alerts at www.nprsr.qld.gov.au  to plan your hiking and camping, as the situation may change rapidly over coming weeks.”

    [ENDS] 31 January 2013

    Contact: Anna Hilton 0408 191 192