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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading
    The Honourable Peter Lawlor
    Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Ecotourism plan on track with environment protected

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading
    The Honourable Peter Lawlor

    Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Ecotourism plan on track with environment protected

    JOINT RELEASE

    The Bligh Government’s plan to investigate potential sites for ecotourism infrastructure and open up private investor opportunities in national parks is on track, as promised.

    Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor and Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said the Expressions of Interest process for an ecotourism facility at Ninney Rise in Far North Qld is close to being finalised.

    “The department has assessed expressions of interest from the private sector for Ninney Rise, near Mission Beach, in Tropical North Queensland,” Mr Lawlor said.

    “This process is now nearing completion and all going well we expect to make an announcement by the start of next year.

    “This puts us on track to have Queensland’s first new ecotourism facility in or near a National Park established by the end of 2011.

    “We promised to have the first EOI completed by the middle of next year, so we are ahead of schedule in delivering on our commitment.

    “Last month we opened expressions of interest for a site at Green Mountains in Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland, and we expect to announce a third site for expressions of interest next month.

    “I am very happy with the progress so far.

    “This means that three out of the seven sites will have been investigated, confirmed as suitable for small scale, low impact ecotourism projects, and released for expressions of interest within a year.

    “The ecotourism plan is a staged process and as part of this process it is important we strike the right balance between tourism and conservation which is why we are investigating these sites in the first place.

    “By the end of the year, the Government will have completed over 40% of its commitment to investigate appropriate sites for small-scale ecotourism projects that will support the industry’s growth into the future.”

    Minister Jones said the rejection of the Moreton Island site announced last month demonstrated the government’s commitment to getting the balance right in assessing all locations.

    “Last month we announced the decision not to proceed with an ecotourism facility south of Cowan Cowan on Moreton Island, after investigation of the proposed site found concerns regarding indigenous and European heritage and the potential for coastal erosion,” Ms Jones said.

    “When we announced our ecotourism plan last year, we said we would only go ahead with proposals if they stacked up environmentally.

    “This decision shows we are living up to our commitment to deliver environmentally responsible projects, and ensure our State’s unique biodiversity is protected.

    “The fact is people have been talking about ecotourism in and around National Parks in Queensland for decades.

    “The Bligh Government is the government that is delivering.

    “We’re doing so responsibly, while consulting and working with the tourism industry, local councils and the conservation sector.”

    Media Contacts: Minister Lawlor’s office: 3225 1005 Minister Jones’ office: 3239 0818

    11 November 2010

    ENDS