Wallaman Falls - 02.04.14

Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, has condemned the Palaszczuk Government’s changes to lock up Queensland’s National Parks and kick graziers off their land, overturning amendments by the former LNP Government to modernise the Nature Conservation Act.

Mr Cripps said Labor’s changes removed enhanced access for the community for recreational purposes and opportunities for eco-tourism projects in Queensland’s protected area estates, which represented a huge step backwards for the Hinchinbrook electorate.

“This was a loony left wing bill, from a loony left wing government, that is captured by the loony left wing extreme greens and it will have significant adverse impact on the Hinchinbrook electorate, two-thirds of which is covered by protected area estate” said Mr Cripps

“This is a step backwards for current and future sustainable economic opportunities for ecotourism in the Hinchinbrook electorate and it is an unfair restriction on local communities in terms of access for recreational activities in the protected area estate” he said.

Mr Cripps said in 2013, the former LNP Government had modernised the objective of the Nature Conservation Act, to include, in addition to the conservation of nature:

  1. the involvement of Indigenous people in the management of protected areas,
  2. the use and enjoyment of protected areas by the community; and
  3. the social, cultural and commercial use of protected areas in a way consistent with the natural and cultural and other values of the areas.

“In the 21st century, there is no reason why the Nature Conservation Act cannot accommodate the involvement of Indigenous people, enhanced recreational access for the community and greater opportunity for ecotourism in Queensland’s protected area estate”.

“Many of the leaseholders who will be impacted by Labor’s changes have held these leases for well over 100 years, during which they looked after the land so well, it’s conservation value is still significant enough to be added to the protected area estate”.

“So, how does the Palaszczuk Government reward this outstanding record of land management – by denying these leaseholders the rights they should certainly expect to access under the Land Act, which is the instrument under which these term leases were granted”.

Mr Cripps said Labor’s decision to narrow the objectives of the Nature Conservation Act was an antiquated and regressive approach to the management of Queensland’s protected area estate and their treatment of farming families was callous, vindictive and politically motivated.

Tags: , ,