One of our most important functions is to develop and/or support submissions to government on issues of significance to the outdoor sector. (Most recent additions at the top)
Outdoors Queensland has published the following position statement on the importance of the outdoors and outdoor recreation for the forthcoming 2020 Queensland State Elections.
Outdoor activities deliver significant benefits to Queensland: due to our State’s great outdoors, thousands of Queenslanders are employed and millions of Queenslanders are healthier.
Click graphic to download
Outdoors Queensland recognises that being outdoors is good for people. The outdoors is great for well-being and can speed up healing. Nature can calm us down and increase creativity and productivity. Outdoor experiences connect people to their true selves, to others and to the natural environment.
Outdoors Queensland Strategic Plan: 2020-2022
QORF Input on the Naree Budjong Djara National Park Draft Management Plan
QORF (the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation) is pleased to provide input on the Naree Budjong Djara National Park Draft Management Plan, which includes the Naree Budjong Djara Conservation Park, Myora Conservation Park, Main Beach Conservation Park and Minjerribah Recreation Area.
Read / Download Letter and feedback form
QORF Letter to Minister of Education re schools returning to camps & OE providers
Letter to Minister Grace Grace seeking assurance for Queensland outdoor education providers that once the industry COVID SAFE Plan for Outdoor Education Providers is approved by the Chief Health Officer, Queensland Department of Education schools will return to school camps and other outdoor education providers.
Read / download Letter
Today, QORF & OEAQ joined together to write a submission to the QLD Education Minister regarding the return to participation in outdoor education programs for Queensland students. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis has been felt far and wide across our members and the outdoor industry as a whole. The submission today to the QLD Education Minister was in support of the Outdoor Council of Australia’s letter to the Commonwealth Minister for Education at the end of last week.
A snippet from our submission
“As we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, Queensland students need outdoor activities and outdoor spaces for their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Students will need outdoor programs to assist them to process the impact that this time has had on their lives. The outdoors has always been an extraordinary space to discover strengths and that must continue. Outdoor programs will help students reconnect through shared experiences following significant periods of social and physical distancing from their peers.”
Outdoor Council of Australia letter to Minister of Education re. post COVID-19 return to outdoor education
As a key member of the OCA we support this approach to the Ministry of Education as a way to approach a return to post COVID-19 normality.
Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Education
Dear Minister Tehan,
The Outdoor Council of Australia (OCA) is the National Peak body representing the interests of Outdoor Recreation across the country. OCA is reaching out for your support at this crucial time. Our sector supports outdoor educators, outdoor recreation facilities, school camp providers, community outdoor recreation bodies as well as outdoor therapy for those with special needs.
The Council is made up of each state’s representative peak body and individually they have reached out to their relevant education departments to encourage a swift return to enabling participation in outdoor recreation. The health and wellbeing benefits are well understood particularly for students and school communities. As our communities begin to re-engage in community sport and recreation, we are seeking your support to see a timely return to participation in school camps and outdoor recreation excursions. Today we ask you to consider backing us on this important message.
The effects of COVID-19 have been wide-reaching, and this has been a very trying time for many industries, people and family units. But what we do know is that the rebound to our health, both physical and mental, is incredibly important for the community, the health system and a resilience influencer to other challenges people may face in their day to day lives.
We believe an outdoor program will be more important than ever because students will need space and time to process the impact this time has had on their lives. The outdoors will be an even more extraordinary space to discover their strengths and help students reconnect through shared experiences post social distancing from their peers.
The data speaks volumes…
There is substantial research to confirm that outdoor programs positively impact young people’s self-perception of their own personal strengths, feelings, limitations, and the value they bring to a team. The collaboration often involved in outdoor activities, such as cycling, hiking, canoeing and climbing within a framework of safety and support brings people together and helps them to connect in a positive way.
Connecting people with nature-based outdoor activities is important for their health and well-being as the industry has been reported to save an estimated $480 Million per year on healthcare system costs in NSW, $208 Million in WA and $380 Million in VIC (Marsden and Jacobs, 2017).
In addition to the health benefits, camp-based recreation and education contributes a massive $16-20 billion to the Australian economy each year, $11 billion to Australian GDP. While this industry is currently trading at $0 in the National economy, we are hoping by working with you we can start to return this economic benefit back to all of Australia in an effective timeframe for regional communities to survive this epidemic.
We ask that you please support our messaging to the states in returning students to the outdoor education opportunities as soon as possible as it will positively impact their re-entry and will be well received by both students and teachers alike as curriculum needs are met and life-skills are being taught.
As the Australian recognized peak body for the outdoor ‘skill-building’ sector, we are here to help and guide you as a key stakeholder and partner in our industry.
A joint letter with Queensland Walks, Bicycle Qld, Nature Play QLD, QORF and the Heart Foundation regarding investment in active communities.
Attached is the letter sent to the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, a version of which will go to all Queensland mayors and councillors.
Dear Lord Mayor,
We congratulate you on your recent election and we look forward to supporting you in developing more active, safe and connected communities. 1
During COVID-19, more people are choosing to be active every day in local neighbourhoods. The provision of footpaths and safe crossings, open space and access to roads in our neighbourhoods are ever more important. We call on you for your commitment to:
- Shovel-ready walking and cycling 2 projects. Increased budgets and commitment to delivering basic, safe and innovative walking infrastructure with construction and maintenance of: footpaths, safe pedestrian crossings and refuges, wider kerb ramps, signalised crossings with a shorter cycle and phasing to suit seniors, vision impaired, people with disabilities and children to safely cross the road
- Temporary street closures or shared zones to allow for people to safely walk and ride on local streets during COVID-19
- Slower designed streets and speed limit reduction for all people to walk and cycle safely
- Wider, connected and safe footpaths (which also allows for essential physical distancing)
- Better shading of all paths through tree planting and shading structures
- Local mixed used and multi-generational parks, playgrounds, nature play and green space that create community hubs and destinations within walking/cycling distance of homes
- Separated walking pathways from bicycles, e-bikes and e- scooters in high traffic or commuter routes
- Removal of slip lanes that cause unnecessary risk to walkers and riders, or an addition of zebra crossings until slip lanes have been removed
- Commitment to a local walking and cycling strategy, preferably integrated into an overall active transport and recreation strategy
- Liveable and active streets designed for all: children and our more vulnerable walking or wheeling residents.
- Investment in walking programs (10,000 Steps, Heart Foundation Walking, parkrun and local bushwalking groups) through local funding, resources and supportive infrastructure.
We know how important a safe and healthy community is to you. Walking and cycling facilities are one of the lowest cost services that you can provide to your residents to improve their health and wellbeing, generate better community cohesion and create benefits for local business.
Thank you for your interest in supporting active communities. We would be happy to talk to you about how you can support our organisations and the localised active travel and recreation of neighbourhoods for your local residents.
For any further queries, contact Anna Campbell, Executive Officer Queensland.firstname.lastname@example.org or 0419 728 670 on behalf of Queensland Walks, Bicycle Queensland and Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation.
QORF’s Comment on the review of the national EPBC Act
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places.
Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation Incorporated (QORF) is the peak body representing the interests of the outdoor sector in Queensland, incorporating
non-competitive outdoor recreation, outdoor sports, outdoor/environmental education activities, health and lifestyle improvement, adventure therapy, and
QORF is a member-based, not-for-profit organisation charged with representing a coalition of outdoor recreation groups to advocate on behalf of the outdoor
community. A key reason for establishing QORF in 1996 was to facilitate communication between different user groups and levels of government on outdoor
recreation related issues.
QORF values the opportunity for all people, of all abilities, all cultures and all ages to recreate outdoors.
QORF believes that the current EPBC Act should be strengthened to protect nature to prevent the destruction of habitat and the extinction of many species.
We believe that strong national environmental laws should allow for appropriate human activities in appropriate places at appropriate times, while protecting nature.
QORF supports the restrictions on public gatherings in this time to reduce the spread of the SARS Cov 2 virus. However, QORF is extremely concerned that during the current COVID-19 health emergency, opportunities for people to go outdoors may be removed and outdoor locations will be closed to the public.
Now more than ever, Queenslanders need outdoor activities and outdoor spaces for their physical and mental health and wellbeing. As the population is coming to terms with extreme uncertainty and anxiety the focus on mental health is paramount. Multiple research studies show that being in the outdoors is beneficial to people.
Download QORF’s Submission
We note that the vision stated in the North Queensland Regional Plan is that “North Queensland thrives as diverse, liveable and innovative tropical region, set around the emerging capital of northern Australia.”
QORF supports the four regional goals set out in the draft North Queensland Regional Plan:
- A leading economy in regional Australia
- A rich and healthy natural environment
- Liveable, sustainable and resilient communities that promote tropical living at its best
- A connected and efficient North Queensland
Download QORF’s Submission
Make your own submission here: https://haveyoursay.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/north-queensland (Closes Friday November 22, 2019)
QORF Submission to the The Victoria Park Vision
Brisbane’s biggest park in 50 years
QORF believes that the decision to turn Victoria Park into a world-class parkland is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the connection between Brisbane people and their sub-tropical environment.
Given the area available, the widest possible range of outdoor activities should be incorporated into the design of the parklands, from nature play spaces and outdoor classrooms, through to event spaces and connected pathway systems. The park could be promoted as a health-giving hub for all visitors through the provision of nature play, discovery and adventure, walking and nature rich experiences, fitness and challenge opportunities, places for improving mental and physical health, wellbeing tourism and maybe even growing healthy food. It is essential that Victoria Park be designed to be accessible and inclusive of the needs of all people.
Download QORF’s Submission
On Monday 1 April, Dom Courtney represented the outdoor sector at the Queensland parliamentary committee public hearing regarding the Health and Wellbeing Bill 2019. He spoke to the committee to emphasise that physical activities, including outdoor activities and the outdoor industry, needs to be part of the solutions for health and wellbeing of Queenslanders.
See what he had to say in this excerpt from the hearing on Parliament TV (2:16:30 through to 2:48:23)
QORF Submission to the Queensland Health and Wellbeing Bill 2019
QORF welcomes the introduction of the Health and Wellbeing Queensland Bill 2019
including the establishment a health promotion agency, to be known as Health and
Wellbeing Queensland (HWQ), as a statutory body contributing to the objectives of the Bill. HWQ has the potential to play a key role in the health and wellbeing of all
Outdoor recreation opportunities and locations provide Queenslanders with positive
quality of life choices, experiences and social connections. Outdoor recreation spaces and. activities connect people to place, self and others and enable communities to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.
As part of our Nature Play Queensland project, QORF has developed a series of evidencebased position statements entitled “Nature Play is Everybody’s Business‘. The position statements set out the linkages between children and health, infrastructure, education, environment and community.
The Nature Play Health Position Statement states that we believe a healthy world comes from a complete and balanced childhood incorporating outdoor free play. Similarly, a healthy Queensland comes from a balanced life incorporating outdoor activities. It calls for an alignment between nature play and health to strengthen children’s health and the health of their families, neighbourhoods and communities.
QORF Submission to the Queensland Walking Strategy 2019-2029
QORF is pleased to have been able to publicise the opportunities for people across the outdoor sector to contribute to the community consultation process involved in the Queensland Walking Strategy 2019-2029. We trust that many interested Queenslanders will have completed surveys and made submissions to this process to ensure that their voices are heard.
We note that “the Queensland Government is investing $2.5 million over the next 3 years to deliver a range of initiatives and actions identified as part of the Queensland Walking Strategy to improve the environment we walk in and the facilities we walk on”.
In recent months, QORF has been strongly involved in the development of another Queensland Government strategy, the Queensland Sport and Active Recreation Strategy 2019–2029, which we understand is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2019. It is important that the Queensland Walking Strategy and the Queensland Sport and Recreation Strategy are in step with one another (pun intended). The Sport and Recreation Strategy will assist to shape the physical activity of all Queenslanders, while the Walking Strategy will deal with the physical activity that is undertaken most commonly by Queenslanders.
Download QORF’s Submission
QORF Submission to the Sport & Active Recreation Strategy 2019 -2021
Sport and active recreation provide opportunities to develop qualities of leadership, teamwork, effort and integrity in a fun and rewarding environment. The Queensland Sport and Active Recreation Strategy 2019–2029 will set out a plan for future development to ensure all Queenslanders have the best access possible to active recreation opportunities.
The Queensland Government needs our help – our feedback – so they can invest wisely to get people physically active, now and for the future.
To better inform our submission on the Queensland Sport and Active Recreation Strategy 2019–2029, QORF put out a simple 3 Question Survey to gather your your thoughts and ideas – the 3 key questions the Strategy is addressing and your answers have helped us craft our own submission to the Strategy.
Download QORF’s Submission
17 september, 2018
QORF is recognised as the peak body representing the interests of the outdoor recreation sector in Queensland, which incorporates nature-based recreation, outdoor education activities, adventure therapy, and adventure racing.
QORF (Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation Incorporated) is a memberbased, not-for-profit association charged with representing a coalition of outdoor recreation groups to advocate on behalf of the outdoor community.
QORF would like to take this opportunity to thank Skills IQ for the comprehensive consultation process that has been carried out in relation to this review. QORF is pleased to have been able to publicise the opportunities for people across the outdoor sector to contribute to the community consultation process.
We also had representatives from Skills IQ speak at the Outdoors Queensland Symposium in Brisbane and Cairns on 12th and 14th September respectively. With Queensland Fitness Sport and Recreation Skills Alliance and Skills IQ, QORF cohosted a consultation forum in Brisbane on 13th September 2018. We note that a range of comments have been provided by many people through the web-portal on specific proposals in the draft Outdoor Recreation Training Package and during the consultation forums.
QORF appreciates the diversity of opinions, and encourages Skills IQ to consider those opinions in the context in which they have been provided. QORF appreciates the efforts that have been made by Skills IQ to deal with concerns that have been communicated regarding the current outdoor recreation units, including job role alignment, disparity in quality/competence of graduates, duplication of content across units, and the time since the previous review.
While there may be concerns regarding changes to the existing system, QORF believes that if some tweaks are made based on the consultation feedback and with a thorough implementation process, the new training package will better serve the outdoor industry in Queensland and across Australia.
QORF looks forward to further involvement in this project. QORF would be pleased to further publicise Draft 2 of the Outdoor Recreation Training Package when that is ready for public consultation.
April 26, 2018
QORF submitted input on AMSA’s Consultation on exposure draft of Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) Levy legislative instruments, which includes new levies for unpowered class 4 hire-and-drive vessels (such as kayaks, canoes, dragon boats and small sailing vessels)
From the submission:
“QORF strongly objects to the proposed inclusion of unpowered class 4 hire-and-drive vessels in the levy scheme. QORF understands the need for government agencies to engage in cost recovery, however we question what evidence is available showing that business operators using these specific types of vessels are causing AMSA to incur costs.
We believe that including these craft in the levy scheme will have the effect of driving businesses away from the use of kayaks, canoes, dragon boats and small sailing vessels. This decision will cause some businesses to cease operations”
With an election looming and knowing the need for an outdoor recreation policy to ensure a healthy future for our sector, QORF has prepared an outdoor recreation policy statement, which we have sent to the political parties* seeking their support and commitment.
The key message of the statement can be summed up:
- Outdoor activities deliver significant economic benefits to Queensland: thousands of Queenslanders are directly and indirectly employed due to our State’s great outdoors.
The 3 key calls to action are:
- Statewide Outdoor Recreation Framework
- QORF calls for commitments to revive the Statewide Outdoor Recreation Framework
- Recreational trail development and promotion
- QORF calls for the development and promotion of significant recreational trails
- QORF calls for commitments to research the wide-ranging benefits of outdoor activities
*Copies have been sent to the ALP, LNP, Greens, KAP and One Nation
QORF recognises that being outdoors is good for people. The outdoors is great for well-being and can speed up healing. Nature can calm us down and increase creativity and productivity. Outdoor experiences connect people to their true selves, to others and to the natural environment.
QORF Strategic Plan: 2017-2019
QORF’s submission on the draft South East Queensland Regional Plan
March 2, 2017
It is submitted that the South East Queensland Plan should recognise that naturebased activities create advocates for nature to be preserved and sustained. Outdoor recreation creates connections between humans and places, playing an important role in creating a sense of value for our natural areas within the community.
QORF’s submission on the draft Queensland Protected Area Strategy.
February 24, 2017
While QORF supports the development of a Protected Area Strategy, we have significant concerns about the content of the draft, as provided. QORF’s concerns are identified in the attached submission on the draft Protected Area Strategy, which has been prepared by Geoff Edwards, Policy Locums, on behalf of QORF.
QORF submission on the Towards an all Abilities Queensland consultation paper
20 February 2017
QORF supports the proposed vision set out in the TaaaQ consultation paper:
Queenslanders of all abilities can live the life they choose.
QORF survey response for the Event Traffic Marshal consultation
21 February 2017
QORF agrees with the overall direction of ‘supporting and empowering communities to hold events,
while ensuring road safety is maintained’
QORF submission on the Daisy Hill Koala Bushland Draft Directions Paper
13 February, 2017
QORF supports the Vision set out in the Directions Paper:
Daisy Hill Koala Bushland is conserved as a special place of natural value where the community and visitors are immersed in discovery, learning, and active and healthy enjoyment of nature and its conservation.
QORF submission on the Queensland Climate Change Adaptation -Directions Statement.
“It is submitted that planning for recreation areas should be incorporated into non-urban settings, to avoid the situation of people being surrounded by inaccessible greenspace.”
… we suggest that the vision set out in the Queensland Cycle Strategy 2011-2021 of “more cycling, more often, on safe, direct and connected routes” remains relevant. The suggested change to allow recreational usage of the SunWater access tracks on the Atherton Tablelands would show that cycling (and other recreation activity) is indeed “supported by all levels of government and the community”…
It is submitted that the South East Queensland Plan should recognise that nature-based activities create advocates for nature to be preserved and sustained.
Recreation creates connections between humans and places, playing an important role in creating a sense of value for our natural areas within the community.
QORF supports the inclusion of both the South East Queensland Natural Resource Management Plan 2009-2031 and the South East Queensland Ecosystem Services Framework within the South East Queensland Regional Plan. To encourage community well-being, environmental protection, connection to cultural heritage and economic values, outdoor recreation needs to be on the
must-have list, rather than on the nice-to-have list within the South East Queensland Regional Plan.
QORF partnered with SEQ Catchments and Sunfish Queensland to develop a robust and consultative plan for improvements to the Piped Road area along the Brisbane River.
In response to the discussion paper Queensland State Land – Strengthening Our Economic Future outlining proposed reforms to tenure administration of State land, QORF (the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation) commissioned this position paper on behalf of its members, who utilise the publicly accessible ‘open space’ and road network of Queensland. Members are concerned about the loss of both existing and future opportunities for this economically and socially important sector.
QORF is concerned that the proposed reforms place the very roots of future recreational and tourism enterprise at risk. This submission proposes instead some simple measures that would underpin those foundations.
Outdoor recreation is a genuine, though diffuse, economic industry, a vital source of tourism and an important lifestyle activity. It is valuable in economic, social and environmental terms and its benefits ripple widely, such as reducing public expenditure on health.
A wide ‘community of interest’ must be considered in making decisions about the future use of State roads, reserves and leases as these usually have regional and statewide, not just local, significance. Outdoor recreation along with all other sectors should be consulted transparently, not only when specific parcels are determined but throughout the process of drafting the new legislation.
Download the QORF Submission – Underpinning the Pillars