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

    Six months more to have your say on Byfield

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

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Six months more to have your say on Byfield

    Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation Minister Andrew McNamara has extended the public consultation period for the draft Byfield Area Management Plan from six weeks to six months.

    Mr McNamara urged anyone with an interest in the area, covering 22,000ha of the Byfield area north of Yeppoon, to make a submission before the January 31 cut-off.

    The planning area covers the Byfield National Park, Byfield Conservation Park, areas of Byfield State Forest managed by the Environmental Protection Agency, a reserve at Stockyard Point, Corio Bay and the beaches adjacent to the national park.

    “This is the long term future for a complex region. That is why we are determined to get the right mix,” Mr McNamara said.

    “Whether you like the plan or you don’t, now’s the time to speak up. I am giving people plenty of time to have their say will and ensure every submission is considered.

    ”I don’t expect everyone will like all aspects of the plan. But there are tough decisions that have to be made.”

    Mr McNamara said the draft plan was the result of already widespread consultation and reflected myriad competing interests of the area’s users.

    “Camping, walking, four-wheel driving, horseriding, picnicking, mountain-bike riding, boating and other nature-based are all provided for.

    “This is about striking a balance. For example, the plan recommends vehicle access be restricted in some sensitive areas and increased in others.

    ”There are sensitive dunes and RAMSAR-listed areas are under threat from increased use of 4WDs and the time to act is now.

    ”And in the case of the Orange Bowl, drunken hoons have turned the area into a no-go zone, so the only solution is to halt 4WD access.”

    As well as vehicle access, the plan addresses issues including better visitor facilities, camping, commercial and recreational opportunities, protection and management of natural land and water resources, harvesting and much more.

    The area’s traditional owners, the Darumbal people, have been involved in preparing the draft plan, which encourages their continued involvement in the region’s management.

    “The EPA also included input from of the Community Reference Group, Stockyard Point community, Byfield commercial operators, Darumbul community, Rockhampton Regional Council and various government agencies.”

    Public information sessions in August will give people time to talk directly with planning staff – those sessions will be advertised locally and on the EPA website.

    Copies of the draft plan are available from the EPA office in Rockhampton, Rockhampton Regional Council offices at Yeppoon, Rockhampton, Gracemere and Mt Morgan, as well as the Byfield Store. The draft plan can also be downloaded from the EPA website at

    Media contact: Scott Dixon 0439 761 416 or Minister’s office 3336 8002