Protected Areas Update
Queensland parks strategy will take 1,000 years to deliver at current rate
Queensland conservation groups today released a progress report on the growth of the state’s national parks and private reserves. The report reviews the implementation of the Queensland Government’s Protected Areas Strategy 2020-30 over the 12 months since the strategy was released in October 2020.
In the strategy, the Palaszczuk Government sets out a vision for a ‘world class’ protected area system, including a promise to double the area of protected land in Queensland from 8.2% to 17%, an increase of 15 million hectares.
However, over the past 12 months, the Queensland Government has only protected 15,699 hectares in new national parks and nature refuges.
“It will take nearly 1,000 years for the Palaszczuk Government to meet its protected area target at the current rate of expansion,” said Pepe Clarke, spokesperson for the Pew Charitable Trusts.
“Queensland needs to expand and effectively manage its protected area network to conserve threatened species and prevent extinctions. Now, more than ever, we need bold action to protect our native wildlife,” said Andrew Picone, spokesperson for the Queensland Conservation Council.
“To fulfil the Queensland Government’s vision of a world class protected area system, we need strong leadership and increased investment in national parks, private protected areas and Indigenous-led conservation”, said Susanne Cooper, President of the National Parks Association of Queensland.
“Queensland’s protected areas provide a vital haven for wildlife, underpin our nature-based tourism industry and provide world class recreation opportunities. Increased investment in the 2022 state budget will benefit regional communities by boosting tourism and providing meaningful work,” said Ms Cooper.
“There have been a number of very positive developments over the past year, including the declaration of the Glen Rock National Park and Conservation Park and the return of five national parks to traditional owners,” said Mr Picone.
“Conservationists warmly welcome the historic return of the Daintree, Hope Island, Ngalba Bulal and Kalkajaka (Black Mountain) National Parks to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji People and Gheebulum Kunungai (Moreton Island) National Park to the Quandamooka People,” said Mr Clarke.