New Nature Conservation Legislation
Recreation and Education Values maintained in amended Queensland Nature Conservation Act
Posted on 10.11.2015
On Wednesday 10 May 2016, the Queensland Parliament passed legislation that returns the primary focus of the national park system to the conservation of nature.
QORF contributed to this process to ensure that access for appropriate outdoor recreation and outdoor education opportunities would be retained for Queensland’s protected area estate (national parks and conservation parks).
In his speech to parliament on Wednesday, Minister for National Parks, Dr Steven Miles, acknowledged the forum organised by QORF in November 2015 regarding this matter, which was attended by staff from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and QORF members and staff. Minister Miles also referred to the concerns raised by QORF and our members about the management principles for conservation parks. To address those concerns, on Wednesday, Minister Miles moved an amendment to the draft bill before the Parliament.
The amendment included the wording proposed by QORF to ensure that opportunities for educational and recreational activities be provided in the 227 conservation parks across Queensland in a way consistent with the areas’ natural and cultural resources and values. This amendment ensures that activities in conservation parks will continue to be managed in a manner consistent with activities in national parks.
As a result, appropriate recreation activities will continue to be allowed in sites such as Daisy Hill Conservation Park, Mon Repos Conservation Park, Smithfield Conservation Park, and 224 other conservation parks across the state.
QORF Executive Officer, Dom Courtney said, “QORF is pleased that the amendment proposed by QORF to the Nature Conservation Act and Other Legislation Amendment Bill was recommended by the Committee and moved by the Minister. This amendment was agreed with the support of all members of Parliament, indicating that support for outdoor recreation and education crosses political bounds.
“Outdoor recreation underpins a significant proportion of Queensland’s tourism industry, enhances community well-being, helps connect people to our cultural heritage, and creates advocates for environmental protection, while also providing a diverse range of fun things to do.”
All members who attended the QORF forum and made submissions to the committee regarding the amended legislation contributed to this positive outcome. In particular, QORF acknowledges the contribution of QORF Life Member Dave Batt who assisted with our submission, Australian Climbing Association of Queensland (Dave Reeves and Chris Williams), and Queensland Conference and Camping Centres (Andrew Grant) for their input into this important process in relation to recreation and education outcomes.
QORF encourages all Queenslanders to recreate outdoors – to “Live Life Outdoors”.
Introduced by:Hon Dr S Miles MP on 27/10/2015
PASSED with amendment on 10/05/2016
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