Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Environment Group supports TTF’s call for wilderness protection

The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) is to be congratulated for proposing the creation of wilderness reserves in Queensland, but park laws should not be rewritten to facilitate resort development in other park areas. Building resorts in national parks can never be design with nature.

“The TTF Queensland Action Plan released today is calling for government to set aside some national parks as wilderness.  We welcome TTF’s recognition of protective role that wilderness plays in park management. Wilderness protection, however, is just one aspect of a broad agenda, that seeks to re-write park management laws for the benefit of the tourist industry.  The TTF is simply trying to make park development initiative look good,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“TTF’s agenda is to remove the ‘road blocks’ from resort development in parks by building partnerships; it’s the old political tactic of divide and conquer”, Mr Muir said.

“TTF is correct to call for formal designation of wilderness in parks. However re-writing the Nature Conservation Act, 1992 to make tourism a principle objective would throw parks open to development,” he said. 

“National Parks are lands set aside for nature, and allowing more commercial development in parks simply defeats the purpose of reserving national parks”, Mr Muir said.

“No wilderness areas are formally protected under the Nature Conservation Act in Queensland.  Wilderness is protected ‘de facto’ in some national parks, such as Mount Barney, Hinchinbrook Island and Carnarvon.  The Carnarvon and Hinchinbrook Island national parks have plans of management that designate large remote-natural zones with minimal or no visitor facilities and no motor vehicle access, except for management purposes.  This is a step in the right direction but much more needs to be done,” Mr Muir said. 

Most plans of management have tended to make such zones much smaller or provide none at all, which is disappointing”, he said. 

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404(m)