20 December 2019As 2019 draws to a close, it is a great feeling to be finishing the year on a high.
A series of recent activities have come together all with positive outcomes that acknowledge the efforts invested by Wildlife Queensland, our members, Branches, supporters and volunteers and set the scene for a very positive outlook for 2020.
These activities include:
- Securing a grant ($33,540) through the Community Sustainability Action Grant program for Queensland’s threatened species to fund spotted-tailed surveys in the Mary Valley region.
- Meeting with the Hon. Leeanne Enoch, Minister for Environment and Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts on 13 November.
- Meeting with a delegation of New Zealand politicians on 25 November to discuss conservation and related issues at the request of the Commonwealth Government’s Australian Political Exchange Council Secretariat.
Wildlife Queensland secures funding to save spotted-tailed quoll
The successful grant application will not only enable Wildlife Queensland to add to its knowledge about this endangered quoll species but also reflects confidence in the capacity and ability of Wildlife Queensland to deliver and manage such a project.
Such confidence was undoubtedly underpinned by demonstrated performance to date by the Society’s Projects Division in past successful studies involving quolls and the present ongoing studies involving platypuses, different species of gliders, the rock wallaby and the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly.
Achieving success with the grant application indicates that Wildlife Queensland’s efforts of contributing to a better understanding of our wildlife are not only recognised but encouraged by the Queensland government.
Wildlife Queensland meets with Minister Enoch
The meeting with Minister Enoch was wide-ranging, covering various topics. While no particular commitments were given by the minister, a positive atmosphere pervaded the meeting and we were certainly given a good hearing.
Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan
There is no doubt the Palaszczuk Government has excelled with their approach to plastic waste. On 7 November, the State Government released its Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan. The Plan is about reducing single-use plastics in the home, away from home, in business and industry, in agriculture and the marine environment
It also proposes to introduce legislation in 2020 to ban plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates, and, following further investigation, coffee cups, containers and heavyweight plastic bags.
Subject to a Regulatory Impact Statement, relevant legislation will be introduced in 2020. Wildlife Queensland has urged the Government to act on this before the election in October 2020.
- Read more about the Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan
- Read more about Wildlife Queensland’s plastics campaign activity in 2019
Draft South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy
The draft South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy 2019-2024 has been released for comment. Responses to the draft Strategy are invited via the Strategy webpage. Submissions close 31 January 2020.
The Protected Area Strategy should see the light of day in 2020.
The review of the Zoning Plan for Great Sandy Marine Park is advancing and the draft management Guidelines for Flying-fox Roosts has been recently released for final comment.
Other matters discussed included:
- the need to amend the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to reinstate World Heritage Areas as a class of Protected Area
- the need for other amendments so that the cardinal principle of management for national parks would be reinstated.
- the commercialisation of national parks.
There was no indication that a dramatic change in current Government policy and attitude was likely. However, while there is an ongoing exchange of views some gains may be made.
It would be misleading to indicate that to date Wildlife Queensland has not been disappointed with the current Palaszczuk Government’s efforts with regards to the environment and its wildlife except for action on plastic waste. However, there were certain glimmers of hope surfacing at the meeting with the Minister that created the impression 2020 was going to deliver enhanced outcomes for our environment, wildlife and its habitat.
Wildlife Queensland hosts 13th New Zealand Delegation
Finally, an officer from the Australian Political Exchange Council Secretariat, Canberra invited Wildlife Queensland to host a meeting with the 13th Delegation of Politicians from New Zealand on an Exchange program in late November to discuss a range of conservation and related issues.
Wildlife Queensland was delighted and honoured to accept the privilege of hosting a meeting. The discussion was free-flowing and wide-ranging, covering a broad range of topics. Wildlife Queensland managers were interested to learn about New Zealand’s innovative approaches to legislation interacting with First Nations peoples and rivers.
Wildlife Queensland was the only conservation organisation the delegation was scheduled to meet during their Australian visit.
Credit for this honour must flow to all associated with Wildlife Queensland, members, supporters, volunteers, Branches, our Council, staff and contractors. It certainly flags that we are doing something right in the eyes of external observers.
Far too often the good things that occur including victories, small or large, are overshadowed by the significant challenges confronting us. Now and then the positive outcomes should be celebrated and what could be a better time than the start of a new decade.
Bring on 2020!