A new management framework for Hinchinbrook Island National Park
Published Wednesday, 02 November, 2016 at 08:30 AM
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
The Honourable Steven Miles
Queenslanders are invited to have their say on the draft Hinchinbrook Island National Park management plan.
National Parks Minister Dr Steven Miles said the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) is seeking community input into the plan to guide future management of the park.
“The draft plan focuses on protecting the rugged, world heritage listed island’s natural and cultural features whilst making best use of its high recreational and ecotourism values,” Dr Miles said.
“It is also a major milestone in changing the way the QPWS plans and manages Queensland’s national parks and other protected areas more broadly.
“We are moving to a management framework that will focus resources on assessing, managing and monitoring our park’s most important values.
“This ‘values based’ framework will also allow us to continuously improve and adapt our management based on evidence of how the condition of those values respond over time.
“The new management framework will align with international standards, establish monitoring programs, and set targets for preserving and improving the condition of the park’s values.”
Member for Sunnybank, Peter Russo, who grew up in the area and has been a strong advocate for the new management framework, said Hinchinbrook was one of Australia’s largest island national parks and part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
“The island’s mangrove forests are some of the richest and most varied in Australia and are an important breeding ground for many marine animals,” Mr Russo said.
“The release of this draft plan is a major step forward in the management of this very significant place.”
Alliance to Save Hinchinbrook (ASH) spokesperson Margaret Moorhouse welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s draft management plan as a “step in the right direction after several years without a finalised management plan in place”.
“We encourage bushwalkers, recreational visitors and lovers of wild places to comment on the draft plan. The plan will need to be robust in its protection of the island’s natural values,” Ms Moorhouse said.
“It is up to us, the present generation, to ensure that the beauty, biodiversity and wilderness of Hinchinbrook Island continue to be protected into the long term,” she said.
Dr Miles said the draft Hinchinbrook management plan identified Aboriginal “stone fish traps” as part of the island’s cultural heritage values, and prioritised their protection.
He said QPWS will work in collaboration with Traditional Owners to protect these traps if the plan is adopted.
“The draft plan also includes exploring opportunities for improving low impact visitor experiences involving the iconic 32 kilometre Thorsborne Trail,” Dr Miles said.
“I encourage the community to make a submission and help shape the new management direction of Hinchinbrook Island National Park”.
The public consultation period opened today (November 2) and runs until December 4, 2016.
For more information or to make a submission, visit www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au.
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