Queensland’s Legislative Assembly has been advised of the extension of the Stock Route Management Regulation 2003, with accompanying advice causing major concerns for Wildlife Queensland.
While we have no objection to the Regulation’s extension until 31 August 2019 in accordance with Section 56A920 of the Statutory Instruments Act 1992 – it was due to expire on 31 August 2018 – major concerns arose for Wildlife Queensland when the recent advice indicated that Minister Lynham has asked groups representing graziers, drovers and local authorities to consider how a consensus can be reached between the differing views with regard to the legislation.
Further, the advice contained no mention of representation to advocate for protection of the environment or wildlife associated with the Network. Wildlife Queensland and other conservation groups have played an active role in such discussions since 2009.
The Stock Route Network legislation has been under review for almost a decade, with the latest of the various Bills, the Stock Route Network Management Bill 2016, lapsing in 2017 upon the dissolution of the previous Parliament. This single contemporary piece of legislation to manage this Australian icon and streamline its management, was a step in the right direction. Wildlife Queensland gave qualified support, though sought refinements, to several aspects of the Bill.
With its concerns regarding the recent advice to Parliament, Wildlife Queensland immediately contacted the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, and was delighted with the rapid and positive response received. Planning for the project is currently underway and it is the Department’s intention to consult with Wildlife Queensland and our colleagues as it undertakes the assessment work required to meet the Minister’s commitments. We were advised that once the preparatory stage is passed, the Department is interested in engaging with Wildlife Queensland to fully understand the Society’s needs.
This rapid positive response opening up channels for further communication has restored Wildlife Queensland’s faith in dealing with the Palaszczuk Government after a recent response from another department raised doubts about their care for our wildlife.