Protection for Mon Repos turtles extended
Published Saturday, 31 March, 2018 at 05:00 AM
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick
Eastern Australia’s largest marine turtle population in Mon Repos Regional Park, south of Burnett Heads, will continue to be protected after the Queensland Government and Bundaberg Regional Council joined to restrain new urban development in the area.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the two-year extension of the existing Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) will ensure loggerhead, flatback and green turtles remain protected while Council progresses changes to its planning scheme.
“Conserving the largest turtle rookery in the South Pacific also protects a significant ecotourism destination, which is very important for the local economy,” Mr Dick said.
“Urban development, particularly artificial lighting, has had a substantial impact on all turtle species.
“Artificial lighting can leave turtles disoriented, leading them towards dangerous roads and predators rather than their natural path to the ocean.
“Turtle hatchlings have a very low survival rate as it is, with only one in 100 reaching maturity, so it is critical we reduce this kind of human interference.”
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said Mon Repos had the most significant loggerhead nesting population in the South Pacific region.
“The success of nesting and hatching turtles is critical for the survival of the endangered loggerhead turtle, which is why it is important to put protections in place for these beautiful creatures,” Ms Enoch said.
Ms Enoch said the Queensland Government had committed more than $16 million in funding to redevelop the Mon Repos Turtle Centre, strengthening the park as a year-round tourist destination.
“The two-year extension of the existing Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) supports our Government’s commitment to Mon Repos,” Ms Enoch said.
“Earlier this year the Palaszczuk Government committed to an extra $3.75 million funding to strengthen the position of Mon Repos Conservation Park. This was on top of our $12.4 million first stage commitment to redevelop the existing Turtle Centre.”
Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey said council had invested significant resources and capital into ensuring the local turtle population was afforded the best protection possible.
“This partnership between Council and the State Government in extending the TLPI is great news for our turtles,” Mr Dempsey said.
The TLPI strengthens development controls over 11 large residential lots within the Burnett Heads area through limiting new residential subdivision and raising the design standards on new dwelling houses, including domestic lighting features.
“The scheme amendment is anticipated to facilitate future residential development within the Burnett Heads area, while including additional provisions to provide protection for Mon Repos Regional Park,” Mr Dick said.
“Both department and council have been proactively working with a range of other stakeholders through the Mon Repos Technical Working Group to help address long-term planning solutions to the impacts on turtle breeding at the Mon Repos Regional Park.”
The Queensland Government has committed more than $16 million in funding to redevelop the Mon Repos Turtle Centre, strengthening the park as a year-round tourist destination.
More information on Temporary Local Planning Instruments can be found here.
Media contact: Cath Palmer, 0424 823 424