It’s crunch time for Queensland’s protected areas

It's time to protect Queensland

    To the Cabinet Budget Review Committee,
    CC: Minister for the Environment

    Together with more than ten thousand other Queenslanders, I’m calling on you to lift your ambition on funding for national parks, private protected areas and Indigenous rangers in the 2020-21 state budget.

    I welcome Minister Enoch’s recent announcement about the expansion of Mount Walsh National Park and declaration of Caloola Nature Refuge. The establishment of well-managed protected areas is vital for our native wildlife and supports a thriving nature-based tourism industry.

    However, this year is your government’s last chance to deliver on your 2017 election promise to deliver a ‘world-leading protected area system for Queensland’ before heading to the polls. We are looking to you for ambitious funding growth to meet that commitment. 

    If we’re going to protect the wildlife and beautiful places that we as Queenslanders are so proud of, we need to protect more areas and fund them well to tackle threats like destructive wildfires, feral animals and invasive weeds. It’s a win for nature, for our communities and for our economy.

    I’m asking you to honour your commitment to create a world leading protected areas network by investing in the following three programs:

    • The Nature Refuges Program to support private landholders to care for their land.
    • New well-managed National Parks to protect nature and grow tourism.
    • Indigenous Ranger jobs to support people caring for country.


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    The state budget is looming, and this year is the Palaszczuk Government’s last chance to deliver on their 2017 election promise to deliver a ‘world-leading protected area system for Queensland’ before heading to the polls. 

    Now is the time we need to show our state’s decision makers we’re looking to them to deliver on their promise. When you sign this petition, you’ll send a message to the four member team of final decision makers on the Queensland Budget - Annastacia Palaszczuk, Jackie Trad, Cameron Dick and Kate Jones - to tell them you want to see greater investment in our protected areas.

    It’s in our nature.

    Queensland has more plant and animal species than any other state in Australia. We’re home to 70% of Australia’s mammals, 80% of its birds and more than 50% of its native reptiles, frogs and plant species. In fact, our state is so rich in nature that if it were a country, it would be one of the most species rich countries in the world. Many of the plants and animals we have here can be found nowhere else on Earth.

    The extraordinary diversity of our species and landscapes means we carry an immense responsibility when it comes to nature conservation. But funding for new National Parks has fallen by 65%, and funding for Nature Refuges is stretched to breaking point, with landholders receiving on average less than 25 cents per hectare to manage their land. 

    We know that well-managed protected areas are proven to be one of the best ways to safeguard nature from feral animals, introduced noxious weeds and uncontrolled wildfires. 

    The Palaszczuk Government committed to creating a world leading protected area network covering 17% of Queensland. But currently only 8 percent of Queensland is protected -- less than any other state. We need to see ambitious funding growth in the April Budget to meet that commitment in order to protect our native wildlife and landscapes that so many Queenslanders treasure.

    It’s crunch time.

    It’s time for the Palaszczuk Government to create a world leading protected areas network by investing in programs that work for people and nature:

    • The Nature Refuges Program to support private landholders to care for their land.
    • New well-managed National Parks to protect species and create tourism opportunities.
    • Indigenous Ranger jobs to support people managing country and protecting species.

    Our children and grandchildren deserve to be able to enjoy Queensland’s rich natural assets, like we have.