Wildlife, parks benefit from budget spend

Conservationists say the Queensland State Budget is a step in the right direction for threatened wildlife and the new protected areas they desperately need.

More than $215 million will be spent on national parks, both expanding the protected areas estate, funding its management and supporting co-management with First Nations Peoples.

Koala in a tree at Benarkin State Forest"Protected areas are critically important in efforts to stop extinction of endangered species like the koala, greater glider and many other plants and animals," Queensland Conservation Council protected areas campaigner Nicky Moffat said.

"The budget commitments toward protected area management and growth are a welcome first step. As we approach the 2032 Brisbane Olympics the need for world class, well managed protected areas is front of mind.

"Visitors to Queensland will want to experience its unique nature and culture. National parks are vitally important assets in providing these experiences. We need to invest in their growth and management boldly and generously in the future.

"Queensland urgently needs to expand protected areas, in line with its Protected Areas Strategy and Australia’s commitment to protect 30% of land and oceans by 2030."

Funding was also provided to bolster compliance measures under the vegetation management framework for managing native vegetation. QCC Nature campaigner Natalie Frost said:

"Land clearing in Queensland is out of control with over 100,000 hectares of clearing 'unexplained' in the last reporting period. Forests and woodlands are home to iconic wildlife and sadly each year their habitat is being destroyed, with deforestation going unchecked.

"We welcome the announcement of $9.8m over four years for enhanced vegetation management compliance measures to tackle the out of control land clearing and hope to finally see an end of clearing high value regrowth and remnant vegetation."