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    Environment
    The Honourable Vicky Darling

    Christmas bonus for Queensland’s protected areas

    Environment
    The Honourable Vicky Darling

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    Christmas bonus for Queensland’s protected areas

    Queensland’s national park areas have received an end-of-year boost with the extra protection of more than 100,000 hectares of precious and bio-diverse land across the state.

    Environment Minister Vicky Darling said Christmas holidaymakers could now enjoy more of Queensland’s protected areas from Springbrook in the south east right up to the Daintree.

    “The Bligh Government is ending the year on a high note, gazetting an extra 101,731 hectares of national park land in some of the state’s much loved areas,” Ms Darling said.

    “Across these truly magical areas you will find the iconic cassowary, endangered giant barred frog, spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforest, waterholes and winding walking tracks for Queenslanders to enjoy.

    “More than 8.25 million hectares of land with high ecological and cultural values is now protected throughout the state.

    “In the far north, more than 42,000 hectares of land has been added to the Daintree National Park, the nearby Cedar Bay National Park has been renamed the Ngalba Bulal National Park and now includes an additional 36,810 hectares of land, and Kuranda National Park (Recovery) has been granted full national park status.

    Member for Cook Jason O’Brien said Kuranda National Park formed an important wildlife corridor for a range of animals, including the iconic cassowary, and featured both rainforest and open eucalypt forest.

    “During the summer it is sometimes possible to spot a male Victoria’s riflebird, an Australian bird-of-paradise, performing its extravagant display from an exposed perch,” Mr O’Brien said.

    Ms Darling said 18 hectares of unallocated State land had been added to the Djiru National Park near Mission Beach.

    “The variety of potential food plants makes Djiru National Park a great place to see a range of butterflies and it is also an important habitat for the endangered southern cassowary,” she said.

    “Paluma Range National Park, north of Townsville, has been increased by 2001 hectares.

    “Near Childers, 431 hectares has been added to Wongi National Park, which features a string of beautiful waterholes fringed by paperbarks and rushes and surrounded by eucalypt forest.

    “Tannins leached from the paperbarks stain the water in the waterholes a golden-brown colour resulting in gorgeous reflections.

    “The National Bicentennial Trail passes through the area which includes hoop pine rainforest, open eucalypt forest and open woodland with a heath understorey.”

    Member for Whitsunday Jan Jarratt said the national park area in the Proserpine region had been boosted by a total of 5,654 hectares, comprising an addition of 5,221 hectares to the existing Conway National Park and the dedication of the new 433-hectare Conway National Park (Recovery).

    “This is fantastic news for the tourism industry and nature lovers,” Ms Jarratt said.

    “The new area of Conway National Park means almost the entire length of the 30km Whitsunday Great Walk is now within national park boundaries – the highest level of protection.”

    Ms Darling said the remote Dawes National Park near Bundaberg had been expanded by more than 3013 hectares to ensure the protection of an endangered remnant of open forest.

    “This expansion brings the total area of Dawes National Park to 7643 hectares,” she said.

    “The additional land includes more than 700 hectares of ‘of concern’ Eucalyptus saligna tall open forest and endangered Eucalyptus tereticornis open forest.

    “Tewantin National Park near the Sunshine Coast has been expanded with more than 1000 hectares added from forest reserves, previously State forests.

    “This hilly sub-coastal area has rainforest, open eucalypt forest and remnants of wallum heath and is home to a number of endangered plants and animals including the giant barred frog and the glossy spice bush.”

    Member for Pumicestone Carryn Sullivan said the Pumicestone National Park had been increased by 312 hectares.

    “The additions to Pumicestone National Park will help secure the integrity of the western shore of the Pumicestone Passage and will ensure the long term protection of threatened habitats adjoining the Moreton Bay Marine Park,” Mrs Sullivan said.

    “The extra land also protects outstanding mangrove and salt marsh habitat that is essential for the vulnerable water mouse and migrating wader bird populations.”

    Ms Darling said Wrattens National Park, also in Queensland’s southeast, had been increased by 860 hectares.

    “Further south, we have declared half of North Stradbroke Island as national park, protecting an additional 7978 hectares,” she said.

    “In the Gold Coast hinterland, we have expanded Springbrook National Park, home to spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforest and ancient trees, by 10 hectares and have increased Springbrook National Park (Recovery) by 28 hectares.

    “Main Range National Park near Warwick has been expanded by 443 hectares, following the transfer of unallocated State land into the national park.

    “Main Range is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area and plays a vital role in the protection of a rich diversity of globally significant wildlife.

    “The Queensland Government remains committed to its target of increasing the national park area to 7.5 per cent of the area of Queensland by 2020.”

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    Images available

    National Park gazettals are:

    • Djiru National Park – 18 hectares
    • Conway National Park – 5654 hectares
    • Dawes National Park – 3013 hectares
    • Kuranda National Park – 91 hectares
    • Main Range National Park – 443 hectares
    • Springbrook National Park -38 hectares
    • Tewantin National Park – 1072 hectares
    • Wongi National Park – 431 hectares
    • Daintree National Park – 42,184 hectares
    • Ngalba Bulal National Park – 36,810 hectares
    • Magnetic Island National Park – 826 hectares
    • Paluma Range National Park – 2001 hectares
    • Pumicestone National Park – 312 hectares
    • Wrattens National Park – 860 hectares
    • Naree Budjong Djara National Park – 7978 hectares