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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Environment, Local Government, Planning and Women
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Cape York land buy in State Budget

    Minister for Environment, Local Government, Planning and Women
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Cape York land buy in State Budget

    The Beattie Government will spend another $3million in 2006-07 to continue to buy up untouched wilderness on Cape York.

    Environment Minister Desley Boyle said it is vital to protect the Cape for this and future generations.

    The spending will complete a three-year program to purchase land of high conservation value on Cape York Peninsula.

    “This extra funding will mean the Beattie Government will have spent $10.5million in the Cape York Peninsula Land Acquisition Program,” Ms Boyle said.

    “We’re protecting this land because it’s precious. Queensland really is in an enviable position with an amazing diversity of the physical environment from reefs to rainforests to desert.

    “We are working towards National Heritage-listing as a further step towards the big goal of listing suitable areas of Cape York as World Heritage Areas.

    “With Cape York we have one of the largest wilderness areas to have survived relatively undisturbed in a developed country.

    “It’s also one of the largest areas of tropical savannah on earth.

    “We’re getting in now to protect it so it stays that way.

    “Our voluntary acquisition program is also expected to bring significant benefits to Cape communities,” Ms Boyle said.

    Member for Cook Jason O’Brien said: “Expanding national parks and other protected areas in the Cape will boost tourism, which in turn will create economic and social opportunities for local communities - particularly Indigenous people.

    “There is no question that the natural beauty and the amazing variety of native animal and plant species found in the region makes it one of the world’s best natural tourism attractions.

    “Cape York is an iconic region of national and international significance and its beauty continues to attract more and more people.

    “The associated benefits to regional development and tourism from a conservation program such as this will help our economy, our reputation and our jobs market grow,” said Mr O’Brien.

    Ms Boyle said $7.5million had been allocated to the program in 2004 but increased land values in Far North Queensland prompted the additional funding in this year’s budget.

    “As the Member for Cairns I am proud that the additional funding will bring about the completion of a program that will bring significant regional benefits and fulfil this major election commitment.

    “The Environmental Protection Agency already has programs in place to manage this land once it becomes part of the protected estate.

    “These include weed and pest management programs, fire control projects and new visitor facilities to support increased tourism demands that were funded under last year’s budget.

    “The EPA works closely with Traditional Owners and land that does not become national park is often transferred to aboriginal ownership.

    “We benefit from their knowledge of this ancient land and traditional owners are taught EPA techniques such as fire management and pest and weed control.

    “As part of its election commitment the Government will continue to work with Traditional Owners, the Commonwealth and other stakeholders to finalise tenure resolution of State owned lands on Cape York.”


    Media contact: 3227 8819