The State Development, Infrastructure and Industry parliamentary committee is holding an inquiry into the future and continued relevance of Government land tenure across Queensland and how the system can be overhauled to make it less complicated.
In undertaking this inquiry the Committee is to consider in particular.
- Ensuring our pastoral and tourism industries are viable into the future
- The balanced protection of Queensland’s ecological values
- Ongoing and sustainable resource development
- The needs and aspirations of traditional owners.
Submissions were invited from the public and interested parties. Wildlife Queensland took the opportunity and forwarded a submission prior to the closing date of 3 August 2012. Recently Wildlife Queensland was also invited to appear before the Committee.
In our submission Wildlife Queensland focussed on the first three issues listed that should be of particular concern to the Committee. Other organisations are far more qualified and appropriate to address the needs and aspirations of traditional owners and Wildlife Queensland strongly supports that their aspirations are addressed.
Briefly Wildlife Queensland is of the opinion that:
- Rural leasehold should be retained with the Delbessie Agreement in place. That the Delbessie Agreement should be reviewed in order to strengthen it.
- Expansion of the Protected Area Estate including national parks must continue and the cardinal principle of management be retained for national parks. Nature based tourism has a place but it must be secondary to the cardinal principle for national parks.
- Amendment is required to the Nature Conservation Act to introduce a tiered system of nature refuges: one solely for conservation, one where grazing and conservation coexist and a third to reflect existing conditions for nature refuges.
- Enact the Stock Routes Network Management Bill 2011 without change.
- Ensure landholders and leaseholders rights are protected and transparent to all parties.
The maintenance of rural leasehold and the Delbessie Agreement will not only ensure that the pastoral industry is viable but there will be benefits for biodiversity conservation. A balance protection of our ecological values can also be achieved by expanding the Protected Area Estate and maintaining the cardinal principle of management. Both a tiered system of nature refuges and enhanced management of the Stock Route Network are effective tools to assist in delivering protection of the flora and fauna.
When appearing before the Committee, Wildlife Queensland will focus on nature refuges and the Stock Route Network Management Bill. Time is limited and there is agreement among various conservation groups to address particular topics.
Wildlife Queensland has been lobbying for several years for amendments to the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to establish a tiered system of nature refuges with different management regimes without success.
There are two current matters under consideration in Queensland where areas of high conservation value are under direct threat from mining. These issues are in fact a reflection of the need for a tiered system of Nature Refuge. One is Bimblebox Nature Refuge in Central Queensland and the other is the Steve Irwin reserve on Cape York.
Wildlife Queensland encourages you to sign this petition should you share our view.
For more information on Wildlife Queensland’s activities, call us on +61 7 3221 0194 or send us anemail.