UPDATED | Comment deadline extended!
The Queensland Department of National Parks, Sports and Racing has produced a Draft Directions Paper that seeks to allow high impact uses that will compromise the nature conservation of a string of koala bushland reserves.
The primary purpose of these reserves is the conservation of nature. Everything else is secondary.
And now it appears that one sport, mountain biking, is lobbying for almost unfettered access to all these koala reserves.
We need your help by completing the online survey and contacting your State Member.
The Daisy Hill Koala Bushland Draft Directions Document (PDF 1.3mb) reveals the basic error of putting national parks into a sport and recreation department.
This makes for a conflict of interest between the basic purpose of these reserves and high impact recreational activities.
The deadline for comment is now 13th February 2017 (was January 31st).
It’s important to remember why these bushlands were protected, which was for their conservation values, as indicated in a speech from the Legislative Assembly November 1992:
The areas of Mount Cotton, Carbrook and Cornubia are of national significance. They include not only one of Queensland’s most important wildlife habitats but also
Australia’s most concentrated koala population. Over the last 15 years, local environmental groups have sought the protection of a large area of bushland extending from the Daisy Hill State Forest to Venman’s Bushland Reserve Environmental Park. In August of this year, the Goss Labor Government responded to that call with the announcement of the establishment of a 1 230 hectare koala bushland reserve. Those developments constitute the most important initiative in koala conservation since koalas were first declared a protected species. I should like to congratulate Dr Frank Carrick, members of the Koala Council and all other conservationist groups who worked so hard over many years to achieve this result.
Genuine nature-based activity should be encouraged using track networks that don’t compromise core habitat and natural values. High impact recreational activities should be prohibited.
The key risks of encouraging high impact recreation include:
- compromising koala habitat and other wildlife including species that live in the understorey.
- opening up natural systems to degradation, erosion and other impacts such as weeds, feral animals, dogs off-leash etc
- safety of all track users (walkers, bike riders, horses etc)
- conflicting with the mission of national parks / conservation areas
What can you do?
- Contact your State Member to voice your concerns.
- There is an online survey. We are very concerned that the questions don’t address the problem of conflict of interest between recreation and conservation values. Please consider the above points when completing the survey.
Paper and survey here: https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/daisy-hill/
For further enquiries please contact us. We also welcome your questions and comments below.