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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Integrity of national park system protected by new nature conservation legislation

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    Integrity of national park system protected by new nature conservation legislation

    The Palaszczuk Government has today (Wednesday) passed legislation that will ensure that the focus of our national park system is the conservation of nature, exactly as the community expects. 

    Minister for National Parks Dr Steven Miles said the Nature Conservation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 delivered on the government’s commitment to provide proper management of the national park estate, providing permanent preservation of natural conditions and protection of cultural resources and values.

    “The new law requires that the management of national parks is to be guided by the primary goal of conserving nature,’ Dr Miles said.

    “That’s quite unlike the previous government’s open-slather approach, which was inviting intolerable intrusions into our park estate.”

    It’s also now a legal requirement that there must be community consultation as part of each park’s individual management plans.

    “We want tourism operators, regional communities and local wildlife experts all to have their voices heard,’ Dr Miles said.

    “The whole community should be involved in stewardship of these conservation areas’.

    Dr Miles said the Bill provided enhanced protection for nine national parks with special values.

    “These areas will now become “national parks (scientific)”,’ he said.

    “Unique places such as Raine Island where thousands of turtles come to lay their eggs each year are being elevated to the highest level of protection.”

    In addition, Dr Miles said the mis-titled ‘rolling-term’ leases for grazing on national parks have been reverted back to ‘term leases’, in line with how those leases have always actually worked. 

    “It’s not right to have laws that are so sloppily written. We have fixed this discrepancy but importantly, correcting the name of these leases will not impact on the existing rights of the landholder under their current lease, including the term, conditions and authorised use,” Dr Miles said.

    The National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ) congratulated the Palaszczuk Government “for protecting Queensland’s natural heritage’.

    “Queensland’s protected areas are critical in preventing extinctions of some of the world’s threatened mammals, birds and amphibians,’’ NPAQ Conservation Principal, Kirsty Leckie said.

    “National parks are recognised as a key strategy in nature conservation, and NPAQ commends the State Government for restoring the Nature Conservation Act to its primary purpose,’’ Ms Leckie said.

    Dr Miles said Queensland’s ‘spectacular’ national parks provided unique experiences for Queenslanders and other visitors from across Australia, and overseas.

    “And those visitors support tens of thousands of jobs.

    “We must set a global standard for protecting these places, so tourists keep coming here safe in the knowledge that they are visiting a State that appreciates and conserves its natural icons,’’ he said.

    ENDS

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