Conservationists welcome plan for new Great Barrier Reef island national parks from Cairns to Gladstone

Conservationists welcome greater protection of the Great Barrier Reef with the addition of new national parks to help safeguard the homes of green and flatback turtles, dugongs, rainforest wildlife and sea and shore birds.

The Queensland Government Island Arks initiative will convert 1,390 hectares of Great Barrier Reef islands and coastal properties to protected areas, stretching all the way from Cairns right down to Gladstone.

The Queensland Conservation Council welcomes the announcement by Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leanne Linard today. This is an important step towards achieving the goal of doubling Queensland’s protected areas to 17 per cent by 2030.

Queensland Conservation Council protected areas campaigner Nicky Moffat said

This is great news for nature, recreation and tourism in several Queensland regions - more island ecosystems protected as national parks for all Queenslanders to enjoy.

From Cairns to Mackay and down to Gladstone, the Great Barrier Reef's island and coastal national parks will now be more connected and this will help ensure their health into the future.

Queensland has spectacular, unique landscapes and they need to be cared for. Well-funded protected areas are vitally important and it's great to see leadership from this Government towards the important goal of doubling Queensland's protected areas estate.

The Great Barrier Reef Island Arks initiative adds to the protection and preservation of some of the state's most important island ecosystems and species.

Cairns and Far North Environment Centre Director Lucy Graham said

Here in FNQ, we love being in nature, especially boating around the amazing islands of the Great Barrier Reef. CAFNEC welcomes these new protected areas. It helps keep Queensland beautiful for everyone in the future - people, dugongs, birds, and more!

By protecting more islands in the Great Barrier Reef, the Queensland Government is doing what's needed to make sure more of our natural environment is secured for future generations to enjoy.