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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation
    The Honourable Andrew McNamara

    New national park in Moreton Bay

    Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation
    The Honourable Andrew McNamara

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    New national park in Moreton Bay

    Teerk Roo Ra (Peel Island) National Park and Conservation Park have been declared on heritage-listed Peel Island in Moreton Bay.

    Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation Minister, Andrew McNamara, was joined by Quandamooka traditional owners, former lazaret staff and patients, conservationists and history buffs for the announcement on North Stradbroke Island today.

    “The island has enormous significance for the traditional owners, has a fascinating history as a lazaret, and is important for its conservation values,” Mr McNamara said.

    “The park name Teerk Roo Ra, pronounced took-a-ra, reflects the Quandamooka name for the island.

    “The Quandamooka people still maintain their respect for and connection to the land,” he said.

    There are many significant cultural and heritage sites on the island, including middens full of shells.

    Mr McNamara said that when John Oxley surveyed the area in 1824 he named the low-lying island after British statesman Sir Robert Peel.

    “The island has a chequered history. From the 1907 until 1959 it was used as a lazaret for people suffering from leprosy.

    “Many of the lazaret buildings are still there, and some have been restored. Peel Island is Australia’s only lazaret designed on the isolation method that survives substantially intact,” he said.

    Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service accepted day-to-day management of Peel Island in 1993.

    “With the addition of Teerk Roo Ra National Park and Conservation Park the area of national park in Moreton Bay has increased to more than 19,500 hectares,” Mr McNamara said.

    “Seventy-four bird species have been recorded on the island as well as eight reptiles, two frogs, three mammals and a sub-species of agile wallaby that is unique to Peel, North Stradbroke, South Stradbroke and Russell islands.”

    The island has sedgelands, melaleuca swamps, low-open and tall-open forests. It is fringed by mangroves, coral reefs and significant beds of seagrass.

    Media contact: Emma Parnell 3336 8002 or (0488) 746 891