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National Parks Association 

of Queensland Inc

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Miles Between Red Flag and Green Light Shortened

National Parks Minister Dr Steven Miles recently showed his dedication to the cause of his National Parks portfolio by consulting with relevant stakeholders during a visit to meet with NPAQ councillors. Dr Steven Miles decided to take the time to personally engage with NPAQ along with his staff, during a planned meeting to brief councillors on the current Scenic Rim Trail ecotourism proposal for Main Range National Park. 

Minister Miles explained that he wanted to reassure us that any proposals for National Park eco-tourism opportunities will only be approved for appropriate, sustainable, low impact projects and this proposal had ticked all his green boxes. The previous government had initiated a call for tenders on eco-tourism proposals, many of which have been rejected by this government due to conflicting interests of park users and the sort of nature experience they wish to promote. Zip line proposals in particular have not proceeded for this reason. 

He was also articulate in stating that his government is committed to finding new and innovative ways to provide eco-tourism and other conservation opportunities to showcase and help conserve Queensland’s National Parks and natural heritage. This may mean a shift in policies related to commercial and private interests to help the government achieve this purpose. 

James Pearce, General Manager of Scenic Rim Trail on behalf of the Turner’s (proponents of the proposal), was also in attendance to answer our concerns on the intentions of the proposal which, although has the government’s green light, still has much planning ahead as far as the eco-camps and infrastructure to be decided upon for the sections within the National Park. James has also agreed to keep us informed at all stages of the project.

The NPAQ Council greatly appreciated the Minister, his staff and James Pearce for coming to our office to discuss the proposal and the willingness to continually engage with NPAQ and pursue an open consultative relationship.  

Despite having a stated position on eco-tourism facilities within national parks in Queensland, there could be no reason why NPAQ cannot view individual proposals on their own merits without deviating from our principles, particularly those that match our objectives and positively contribute to the protected area estate in Queensland. This of course requires further discussion and engagement with our members and supporters.

For more information please read:

http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2016/7/22/opening-up-new-ecotourism-opportunities-in-our-pristine-national-parks

NPAQ position statement:

http://www.npaq.org.au/campaigns-app/red-flag-for-eco-tourism-facilities-in-national-parks