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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    PREMIER ANNOUNCES NEW WILD RIVERS

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Friday, April 03, 2009

    PREMIER ANNOUNCES NEW WILD RIVERS

    Premier Anna Bligh has announced the gazetting of three new Wild Rivers areas delivering on her election promise to continue the roll out of the ground-breaking program.

    Ms Bligh said the three rivers in Cape York Peninsulahad been gazetted following approval by the Governor Penelope Wesley.

    “The Archer, Lockhart and Stewart rivers have now been declared as wild river areas,” she said.

    “We have already declared six rivers along the east coast and in the Gulf of Carpentaria as wild rivers as part of our previous commitment to protect 19 northern waterways.

    “This brings the current number of wild rivers in Queensland to nine.

    “We will continue to roll out this program and fulfil our election promise to extend our protection program to three rivers in the south-west channel country.”

    Queensland's unique wild rivers legislation protects pristine and near pristine Queensland rivers for current and future Queenslanders and the world.

    Settlement Creek, Morning Inlet, the Gregory River and Staaten River, in the Gulf, and Hinchinbrook and Fraser islands have already been declared wild river areas.

    “This year, we will complete the gazettal of Wenlock river and start consultation for the Ducie, Watson, Olive, Pascoe and Jacky Jacky rivers,” said Ms Bligh.

    “Then in 2010, we will nominate the Jardine, Holroyd, Coleman and Jeanie river basins for gazettal.

    “We will also fulfil our election promise to extend our protection program to the south-west’s Diamantina and Georgina rivers and Cooper Creek.”

    Ms Bligh said many of Queensland’s rivers have been affected by urbanisation, industrial development and farming activities.

    “That’s why protecting our remaining pristine rivers — our wild rivers, with virtually all of their natural values intact — is even more important,” she said.

    The Premier said it was important to note that the declaration of a wild river under the Wild Rivers Act 2005 does not preclude all future development in a wild river area.

    “While we want to preserve our wild rivers we also want local communities to continue to prosper,” she said.

    “Activities such as mining, grazing, fishing, eco-tourism, outstation development and indigenous cultural activities can all still occur.

    “This proposal is about ensuring the natural biodiversity and cultural heritage is protected, and any developments are undertaken responsibly, without detriment to the basin area.”

    Details of the three Cape river basins, which cover an area of nearly 19,500 square kilometres, are:

    • The Stewart River Basin on Cape York’s east coast includes the catchments of Massy Creek, Breakfast Creek, the Stewart River, Balclutha Creek and Gorge Creek, which flow from the Great Dividing Range into the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef Lagoon. Densely forested mountain ranges and extensive floodplains. Diverse topography, climate and soil support significant vegetation communities, including large areas of rainforest in the McIlwraith Range. Land use is grazing and conservation management.

    • Also on Cape York’s east coast, Lockhart River Basin includes catchments of the Claudie River, Lockhart River, Nesbit River and Chester River. Region has significant areas of rainforest, eucalypt and paperbark woodlands, and estuarine wetlands. Include the Iron Range National Park and Lloyd Bay Wetlands - extensive and diverse wetlands of national significance. Land use is conservation management, grazing and tourism.

    • The Archer River Basin drains into the Gulf of Carpentaria on the west coast of Cape York. Includes catchments of the Archer, Kirke and Love Rivers. Basin estuaries are in a natural state and there are a number of significant wetlands, including the Archer River Aggregation. Also includes the Mungkan Kandju National Park.

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