A review to look at ways to better manage the state’s land based World Heritage areas has been ordered by the Queensland Government.
Environment Minister Andrew Powell said he initiated the review at the request of the Queensland World Heritage Committees who want to see a more consistent approach to protecting these important, internationally-significant areas.
“They have asked and we have listened,” Mr Powell said.
“The previous Labor government failed to meet their international obligations on World Heritage matters, but we recognise their importance which is why we are looking at the way they are managed”
“The Newman Government promised to grow the State’s tourism industry as one of the four pillars of the economy and these World Heritage areas must be protected now and into the future.
“There are currently four land based World Heritage Areas in Queensland- Wet Tropics, Fraser Island, Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh) and Gondwana Rainforests-and each has a different property management model.
“What is required is a more consistent model of management where we improve, simplify and maximise the protection of the state’s World Heritage areas.”
Minister Powell met the Chairs of Queensland’s four terrestrial World Heritage areas in Brisbane where the announced review and received unanimous support.
“Our intent is not to water down existing arrangements or protections for these areas but rather do things smarter. The current outdated structures set areas against each other,” he said.
“We will be working with experts with a range of interests including science, tourism, world heritage and park management and governments in this review.”
“We want Queensland’s land world heritage areas to be the best of the best and with the involvement and support of the people involved, this review will go a long way to ensuring that can happen.”Mr Powell said the review is expected to be completed in 2014