Win for nature, tourism as cattle station to become new Curtis Island parks
Queensland Conservation Council and National Parks Association Queensland welcome plans to protect more than 1,500 hectares of land on Curtis Island off the coast of Gladstone after the State Government purchased a cattle station and announced plans to expand the existing national park.
The State Government purchased Spadely Station on the north of the island, and announced a master planning process will be undertaken to map a path toward sustainable ecotourism, park and visitor management.
"This is a win for flatback turtles and migratory birds. This expansion will create more jobs in nature, both rangers and caretakers of the park and in nature based tourism," QCC protected areas campaigner Nicky Moffat said.
National Parks Association of Queensland CEO Mr Chris Thomas said that with gas plants and heavy industry on one side of the island it was great to see remaining stunning landscapes protected on the other side.
"It’s exciting to see the first purchase of land adjacent to a national park, allowing an appropriate protected area tenure to be established to facilitate sustainable tourism and ensuring the national park area is managed primarily for nature conservation," Chris said.
QCC Protect Country Strategist Paul Spearim said local First Nations groups needed to be central in planning of the parks.
"We hope the master planning process centres First Nations voices and deepens positive relationships between park managers, researchers, tourism operators and traditional owners the Bailai People, the Tarebilang Bunda People, Gooreng Gooreng People and Gurang People," Paul said.
"We look forward to public consultations and hope funding and incentives are provided for meaningful and ongoing First Nations involvement both in park management and sustainable nature-based tourism."