Big new National Park in NSW exposes Queensland’s lost opportunities
PRESS RELEASE -
The New South Wales government’s purchase of Narriearra Station for a huge new National Park in the state’s north west has shown that large scale conservation is still a critical and deliverable priority for all state and territory governments.
The protection of 153,415 hectares at Narriearra Station will fill a critical gap in NSW’s national parks, adding extensive arid zone ecosystems and threatened species habitats to the protected area estate.
Under the national reserve system framework, the acquisition, protection and management of the full suite of Australian ecosystems remains a national priority that all state, territory and federal governments have committed to.
Unfortunately, Queensland has missed many similar opportunities.
Between 2015-2018 five high priority properties covering approximately 154,000 hectares were sold for $16.4 million. Had they been acquired they would have protected:
- Habitat for 18 threatened species of plants and animals,
- 90,000 hectares of poorly or unprotected ecosystems,
- 24,000 hectares of regionally endangered ecosystems,
- 50,000 of identified biodiversity corridors of state significance.
“While the Palaszczuk government made the welcome commitment in 2016 to protect 17% of the state, only 8.7% of Queensland protected, of which only 5.6% in national parks.” said Andrew Picone, Protected Areas Program Coordinator at the Queensland Conservation Council.
“Queensland has the lowest percentage of protected areas of all states and territories and the highest proportion of unprotected regions.” says Picone.
“The long-awaited Protected Area Strategy is now three years overdue and funding for priority acquisitions remains elusive.”
“We are calling on the Palaszczuk government to release the protected area strategy, increase the annual management budget to $56 million per year and reinstate dedicated and ongoing acquisition funding in the current term of government.” said Picone
For further comment please contact Andrew Picone on 0457 798 359.
Further information see: Lost opportunities for new national parks in Queensland.