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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh
    Environment and Resource Management
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    PREMIER DECLARES FIRST NEW NATIONAL PARK ON NORTH STRADDIE

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Environment and Resource Management
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Sunday, March 27, 2011

    PREMIER DECLARES FIRST NEW NATIONAL PARK ON NORTH STRADDIE

    The Bligh Government’s plan to protect North Stradbroke Island for the future was set in motion today, with the first new national park declared over 20 per cent of the island.

    Premier Anna Bligh and Environment Minister Kate Jones joined Traditional Elders on the island, to announce 5,240 hectares has now been given the highest possible form of protection.

    Traditional owners were invited to name and to jointly manage the new national park which will be known as Naree Budjong Djara, meaning "My Mother Earth".

    The national park declaration follows this week’s announcement that the end of Straddie sand mining will be fast-tracked so that three quarters of the island can be protected within 10 years.

    The Premier said the new national park demonstrates the Government is serious about protecting North Straddie for future generations.

    “I, like so many other Queenslanders, want to see North Straddie transformed from a mining island to an island paradise,” Ms Bligh said.

    “Today’s new national park announcement is just the first stage. By the end of 2011, half of the island will be permanently protected as we deliver on our commitment last year.

    “This is the start of something big for Straddie. The island is entering a new, exciting future.

    “For the first time, it will be opened up for us all to enjoy – whether it’s families fishing and having beach barbecues, bush walkers exploring or campers taking time out to relax in an island paradise.

    “People from all of Queensland can feel proud that one of their favourite holiday spots is being protected and opened up for them to enjoy for years to come.”

    Minister Jones said the Government’s plan is about recognising a Queensland icon, protecting its unique beauty and important cultural heritage and achieving significant land justice for indigenous people.

    “While Straddie’s past has been associated with mining, its future will now be about a world class national park – ultimately covering 80 per cent of the island – and thriving visitor activity,” Ms Jones said.

    “Importantly to south east Queenslanders, the new national park will be on our doorstep.

    “Many families around south-east Queensland already love taking a trip out to Straddie – this will give them even more reason to come over and visit more regularly.

    “It will also create new tourism opportunities for visitors from interstate and overseas.”

    Ms Jones said the Quandamooka people’s name for the park, Naree Budjong Djara (My Mother Earth), invokes the great importance of the island to them and reflects the natural beauty of the area.

    “The new area of national park includes Freshwater Creek, the area around Swan Bay, Stingaree Island, and Eighteen Mile Swamp - a rare sub-tropical wetland,” she said.

    “It is home to a number of threatened species such as the black-neck stork, endangered swift parrot and little tern.

    “We will be working hand-in-hand with the Quandamooka people to manage the national park.

    “The Bill I introduced in State Parliament this week recognises the important role that the Quandamooka people have as traditional custodians through the establishment of joint management arrangements for the newly created national park.

    “Traditional Owners and Department of Environment and Resource Management officers will work together to develop visitor management policies, and operational procedures for the day-to-day management of the parks including pest animal and plant control, fire management, permits, presentation and facilities.

    “Two out of six indigenous rangers have already started working on the island and a total of 12 rangers to manage the Straddie Park will commence in the next 12 months.”

    Last week’s mining phase-out announcement included:

    ·Yarraman mine to close in 2015 as already committed by the mining company, ending 47 per cent of mining on the island;

    ·The largest sand mine (Enterprise) shutting in 2019, ending a further 47 per cent of mining

    ·Three quarters of the island becoming national park by 2021;

    ·All mining ending with the closure of the small silica mine (Vance) in 2025;

    ·80 per cent of the island becoming national park by 2026;

    ·The mine path on Enterprise to be controlled and regulated to prevent the company’s proposed expansion and to protect the most environmentally sensitive areas on the lease.

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