PALASZCZUK GOVERNMENT REBUILDS RANGER WORKFORCE AFTER LNP CUTS
Published Wednesday, 02 November, 2016 at 02:43 PM
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
The Honourable Steven Miles
Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles has revealed up to 21 new frontline rangers positions will be created “in all corners of the state’ by the end of June, 2017.
Dr Miles said the Palaszczuk Government’s investment would also benefit regional Queensland through the “provision of goods and services’’ to support the new positions.
“Under the LNP, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service staff had about $10 million slashed from their salaries budget,’’ Dr Miles said.
“While the LNP dismantled environment programs and reduced the number of frontline staff, the Palaszczuk Government is committed to jobs and job creation.
“That is why this government committed in the 2016/17 budget to rebuilding our ranger workforce.
“Up to 31 new frontline park ranger jobs will be delivered over the next four years – under a $35.9 million investment in new national park funding and an expansion of the state’s protected area estate.
“Twenty one of these new jobs are expected to be in place by the end of next June.
“These park ranger positions will be directly involved in the establishment and management of new national parks in all corners of the State, protecting a wide diversity of flora and fauna,” Dr Miles said.
“Fourteen new jobs will be created in north western and central Queensland, to the west of Mackay, Townsville and Cairns; another 6 in south east and south west Queensland; and one overseeing marine parks and coastal islands”.
Dr Miles said he was “particularly proud of the fact’ regional Queensland would benefit from the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to increasing the ranger workforce," he said.
“Ranger jobs will be advertised in remote communities providing local employment and many small towns will benefit through the provision of goods and services.
“Houses to accommodate some of these new ranger staff are already under construction – $450,000 is being spent at Undara west of Townsville creating flow on jobs in the construction sector and planning is underway for new housing at Littleton National Park near Croydon.
“As new fences and firelines are built to support park management, flow on work will be created for local businesses supplying machinery and equipment.
“As the popularity of these parks grow, tourism will provide longer term economic prosperity with visitors purchasing food and fuel on their way to and from the parks.
“This is just the start of a new investment in our natural wonders, but also an investment that will deliver long term sustainability for conservation and for regional Queenslanders”.
Dr Miles said rangers played an important role in protecting the “outstanding natural places in Queensland that remain the envy of the world”.
“Our rangers are critical to conservation and to ensuring that our tourism industry remains prosperous.
“They perform a valuable role in protecting Queensland’s national parks, from managing fires and weeds to maintaining our beautiful tracks, trails and camping areas as well as communicating with visitors to our national parks,” he said.
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