Qld Budget 2021-22: Funding For Environment Welcomed But More Needed

Wildlife Queensland welcomed funding for the environment in the recently released Queensland Budget 2021-22 but expressed frustration at the Queensland Government’s stalled investment in the better management and expansion of national parks and private protected areas across the state.

Great Sandy Strait, Poona, Qld. Image: Berry from Getty Images

During last year’s election campaign, the Palaszczuk Government released a strategy to grow Queensland’s protected areas to a “world-class” network and committed a “down payment” of $36 million over four years for new national parks and private protected areas.

Wildlife Queensland spokesperson, Des Boyland, said that while the 2021-22 Budget is an improvement over funding for the environment provided in the 2020-21 Budget, it is well short of what is required to arrest the decline in biodiversity let alone reverse the trend.

“Wildlife Queensland was hopeful that funding would be made available to buy back licences from commercial fishers in state marine parks, the Great Sandy Marine Park in particular, as well as additional funding allocated for national parks and protected areas on private land. (see below to send an email to your local MP)

“However, whilst we would have liked to see more funding allocated to these key areas, we commend the Hon. Meaghan Scanlon Queensland Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Youth for her efforts with the Budget.

“Obviously, such gains could not have been won without the support of the entire Palaszczuk Government and Treasury officials prepared to listen. To have obtained these increases in the current Covid-impacted economy is perhaps even more remarkable. In addition, the environment and hence its wildlife has benefited from increased funding across a range of portfolios,” said Boyland.

2021-22 Budget Highlights

The Budget delivered significant funding addressing climate change strategy across various portfolios.

  • An additional $1.5 billion boost to the $500 million Renewable Energy Fund with $35 million for a Natural Capital Fund to facilitate co-investment to achieve environmental outcomes and $25 million for the land restoration Fund Round 2.
  • One allocation that sounded alarm bells for Wildlife Queensland was $22 million for a business case for the proposed Borumba pumped hydro scheme located on Yabba Creek in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Should this scheme proceed additional pressures and threats to our wildlife and habitat will be a byproduct. We will be monitoring this situation closely.
  • Significant funding was made available for renewables.

Funding allocated to the Department of Environment of Science:

  • The Great Barrier Reef was a big winner with $527 million years in addition to existing funding for enhancing water quality.
  • The Queensland Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy has been boosted with an additional $24.2 million annually, which will benefit the environment and its wildlife.
  • $5.6 million towards the delivery of the buildings and park infrastructure to support visitor recreation, management and access of parks and recreation areas jointly managed by traditional owners and departments.
  • At least $4.3 million will be invested in high priority land acquisitions for the expansion of the protected area estate. It is rumoured three properties will be acquired, one in Cape York and two in western Queensland. This should be publicly confirmed by October 2021.
  • $3.8 million has been allocated towards the replacement of major vessels for marine parks management.

More Funding for Our Protected Area Estate

Wildlife Queensland needs your support to tell our politicians that we need more funding for our Protected Area Estate.

Send an email to your local MP and the Hon. Meaghan Scanlon MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs to say we need more funding allocated to our Protected Area Estate, particularly our national parks, to help arrest the decline in biodiversity now!

Use the form below to email Minister Scanlon. And copy and paste the text below to send an email to your local MP.

[contact-form-7 id=”1245″ title=”Contact form 1″]

Copy and paste the below statement, add your details and send by email to your local MP.

RE: More funding needed for our Protected Area Estate

I support Wildlife Queensland in asking for more funding to be allocated to our Protected Area Estate, particularly our national parks, to help arrest the decline in biodiversity now!

Yours sincerely

[Your Name, Address and Signature]

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