Queensland Conservation (formerly the Queensland Conservation Council) and the Wilderness Society have launched a postcard and Parliamentary e-petition campaign to lobby for the protection of all wild rivers in Queensland.
The campaign is in response to the draft Wild Rivers Act tabled by the Queensland Government in February 2004 that proposes to list and protect only 19 wild rivers, mostly in the north and west of the State.
Ronan Lee MP, State member for Indooroopilly and Wildlife Queensland member, is urging fellow WPSQ members and supporters to join him in the campaign to protect all 60 of the State’s wild or naturally significant rivers.
‘This is an impressive start towards protecting these wonderful natural treasures,’ said Mr Lee. ‘But this is a historic opportunity to make Queensland the undisputed world leader in river conservation and we should do more.’
The proposed Act includes a commitment never to dam the listed 19 rivers and to allow them to continue to run free, including:
- strictly limiting water allocation from the system
- protecting associated wetlands
- outlawing stocking the river with non-endemic fish species.
- They are rich in heritage and scenic beauty, recreational activity and cultural significance.
- Wild rivers are home to native aquatic and terrestrial animals and they provide refuge for native animals during dry periods.
- Wild rivers are free from dams and weirs, intensive irrigation and flow reduction and continue to maintain all or most of their environmental values.
Examples of Queensland’s rivers which could be designated as Wild Rivers include the following:
- Archer River system
- Coleman River system
- Ducie River system
- Fraser Island streams
- Gregory (Nicholson basin)
- Hinchinbrook Island streams
- Holroyd River system
- Jacky Jacky Creek
- Jardine River
- Jeannie River
- Lockhart River
- Morning Inlet streams
- Olive & Pascoe Rivers
- Settlement Creek system
- Staaten River
- Stewart River
- Watson River
- Wenlock River
Final designation of Wild Rivers will be determined through extensive community consultation and introduction of the legislation.
The postcards, addressed to the QG, and Parliamentary e-petition are part of a campaign to urge the Queensland Government to extend protection to 60 of the State’s wild and naturally significant rivers and to improve the protection measures, including:
- classify protected rivers as wild rivers, regionally significant rivers or heritage rivers
- government funding to protect and manage the rivers
- address Indigenous issues and interests
- better enforcement of the Act.
Wildlife Queensland is asking people support the campaign in two ways:
- Send a postcard. The pre-addressed cards are available from Ronan Lee, Queensland Conservation and the Wilderness Society, some post offices and shops. The cards only need a signature and a stamp.
- Sign the e-petition. Sign the e-petition on the Queensland Government website by 25 May 2005.
Ronan Lee has Wild Rivers campaign kits and postcards available.
WPSQ members can read Ronan Lee’s full article on protecting wild rivers in the latest Autumn 2005 Wildlife Queensland, the WPSQ newsletter.
Find out more information about the Queensland Government’sdeclaration of the six wild rivers.
For more information on Wildlife Queensland’s activities, contact us by email or call +61 7 3221 0194.
Wildlife Queensland © March 2005