Joint statement on QLDs Protected Areas - Queensland Conservation Council

Joint statement on QLDs Protected Areas

Queensland’s status as leader in wildlife-diversity at risk, say environment groups

Queensland’s leading environment groups have warned that Queensland’s status as themost wildlife-rich state in Australia is now seriously at risk, and immediate action is needed to grow and better manage the state’s protected areas.

 

The groups have today released a new six-point plan calling on the Palaszczuk Government to act urgently on protected areas, as Queensland increasingly lags behind other states.

“Despite having the biggest diversity of plant and animal species of any Australian state, weare coming last when it comes to safeguarding our natural treasures,” said Martin Taylor ofWWF Australia.

“Queensland has long suffered from under-investment in conservation and land management, with only around eight percent of its land area protectedthe lowestproportion of Australia’s states and territories.”

“As Queenslanders we are lucky to live in one of the most wildlife-rich places on the planet.But this could all be at risk if we don’t take action to better protect our unique natural andcultural heritage,” said Graeme Bartrim of the National Parks Association of Queensland.

“Protected areas are widely recognised as one of the most effective approaches to theconservation of nature. They provide a generous return on public investment by supporting tourism, public health, recreation benefits and other ecosystem services like clean air andwater.”

The Wilderness Society spokeswoman Gemma Plesman said “Queenslanders love ournational parks and reserves for the access they give us to nature and for the role they play inprotecting it.”

A recent Galaxy poll found 84 percent of Queenslanders believe that more land should be protected in national parks and reserves.

“It’s clear that Queenslanders want to see our Government pick up the pace on protectedareas. That’s why today we’ve released a clear and concise plan for the Palaszczuk Government to safeguard our state’s natural assets,” concluded Ms Plesman.

Notes for editors:

  •  Queensland’s land conservation is the lowest in the country, at 8%. This is compared

    to: Australian Capital Territory 55%, Tasmania 42%, South Australia 30%, Northern

    Territory 25%, Western Australia 23%, Victoria 17%, New South Wales 9%.

  •   Polling conducted by Galaxy Research in November 2017 (1,000 respondents).

    For further comment contact:

    The Wilderness Society’s Queensland Campaign Manager, Gemma Plesman, 0423 044 431National Parks Association of Queensland, Graeme Bartrim, 0438 171 903
    WWF’s Protected Areas and Conservation Science Manager, Dr Martin Taylor, 0406 384 289

    Six-point plan for Queensland’s protected areas:

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1.  Strengthen the laws

  •   Amend the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to ensure the primary purpose of national parks is the protection of natural and cultural resources.

  •   Pass the Nature Conservation (Special Wildlife Reserves) Bill 2018 to create a new class of private protected area which is protected from mining, logging and grazing.

  •   Proactively phase out grazing leases in national parks.

  •   Invest $56 million per year for improved on-ground management in our existing national parks.

  •   Invest $55 million per year for acquisition of new parks, with matching increments in funding for the Queensland Parks Wildlife Service to manage added parks as needed.

2.  Grow and better manage our national parks

  •   Invest $56 million per year for improved on-ground management in our existing national parks.

  •   Invest $55 million per year for acquisition of new parks, with matching increments in funding for the Queensland Parks Wildlife Service to manage added parks as needed.

3.  Grow private protected areas

    ●     Invest $10 million a year over four years to grow the Nature Refuges footprint and provide more support to landholders to    better manage their lands.

4.  Support Indigenous land management

    ●     Invest in the Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program by creating 200 new ranger positions over the next ten years.

5.  Restore land to traditional owners and create new protected areas

  •  Invest $10 million a year over five years (2019-2024) to extend the Cape York Tenure Resolution Program beyond its current end date of June 2019.

  •   Maximize opportunities for jointly-managed areas and extend the Cape York Tenure Resolution Program model, or similar, as part of a broader strategy to support Indigenous conservation approaches.

6.  Fund our protected areas

  •   Increase capital funding for protected areas to a level more consistent with theirimportant contribution to Queensland’s economy, environment and lifestyle.

  •   Allocate $50 million a year over three years from the waste levy to contribute to

    protected areas.

  •  Exploring options for raising additional revenue through mechanisms such as a

    bushland preservation levy.

 

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