Study informs future of management of K’gari

Published Monday, 06 May, 2024 at 12:35 PM

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Innovation
The Honourable Leanne Linard

  • The Miles Government has released the findings of a study into the use of the K’gari (Fraser Island) section of the Great Sandy National Park and Recreation Area.
  • More than 1,500 stakeholders, tourism operators and community members participated in the study.
  • The findings will be used to inform the area’s future management, including in the  new management plan that will balance the island’s natural, cultural and recreational values.

The Miles Government has completed a study into the current and anticipated future usage of the K’gari (Fraser Island) section of the Great Sandy National Park and Recreation Area.

An estimated 500,000 people visit K’gari each year, making it one of the most popular destinations managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Visitation has increased in recent years, particularly following the COVID-19 global pandemic. This increase in usage is expected to continue as Queensland’s population grows in the years ahead.

Balancing this expected growth in visitation and the competing demands for access and use of the area requires careful planning to balance visitor safety and experiences with the conservation of the area’s natural and cultural values.

The island’s traditional owners, the Butchulla People, as well as more than 1,500 community members, tourism operators and visitors to K’gari provided feedback as part of the comprehensive study.

The study has identified the need to reduce overcrowding in camping areas during peaks times, tougher penalties for anti-social behaviour, a zero-tolerance approach to driving offences, manage the number of vehicle access permits that are issued, and introduce new infrastructure to cater for growing demand.

The study’s recommendations have been summarised into key themes including management capability and partnerships, conservation, capacity and permitting, visitor safety, infrastructure and visitor experience, with and these are in varying stages of implementation.

The findings of the study will assist in the development a new draft management plan which is being developed in close collaboration with the island’s traditional owners, the Butchulla People.

Stakeholders and the community will have the opportunity to provide further feedback on the draft management plan when it is released for public consultation.

Quotes attributable to Environment Minister, Leanne Linard:

“Protecting our national parks and other protected areas is in the Miles Labor Government’s DNA.

“K’gari is one of Queensland’s most popular national and international tourist destinations.

“The World Heritage-listed island features lush rainforests, stunning beaches, beach fishing and camping and amazing perched freshwater lakes.

“The K’gari section of the Great Sandy National Park and Recreation Area is increasing in popularity, and in 2023, people spent more than 337,000 camper nights and almost 67,000 vehicle access permits were purchased.

“The study will help the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service develop a new draft Management Plan for K’gari to help balance visitor experience and protect the area’s natural and cultural values.

“The Miles Government will continue to work with the community and key stakeholders to protect K’gari and the Great Sandy National Park and Recreation Area .

“The LNP is a threat to our protected areas. They have no policies and no plans for these areas and have a track record in reducing environmental protections and cutting staff in the Department of Environment and Science.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Hervey Bay, Adrian Tantari:

“K’gari is an iconic and truly unique World Heritage Area and more and more Queenslanders, as well as interstate and international tourists, are visiting to explore and enjoy everything the world’s largest sand island has to offer.

“We must ensure that we strike the right balance between those visitor experiences and protecting the natural and cultural values which make the island what it is for everyone to enjoy

“The results of this study provide a foundation upon which the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will manage the park in the years ahead.

“I look forward to the next step of developing a park management plan, which will require further engagement from the community.”

Further information:

The Sustainable Visitor Capacity Management Study for the K’gari (Fraser Island) section of the Great Sandy National Park and Recreation Area, and the government’s response is available here.


Media contact: Scott Chandler – (07) 3719 7339