LNP launches new parks policy

BIODIVERSITY, weed and pest management and better public access to national parks are the cornerstones of the LNP's new national parks policy.

Opposition environment spokesman Andrew Powell visited Bundaberg yesterday to launch the policy.

“We want to encourage locals back to national parks, such as Deepwater and Coonarr,” Mr Powell said.

“People are being locked out and we want to free it up a bit more for people to enjoy.

“We will implement a statewide streamlined permit system for sustainable tourism and recreation activities, which are so important to our local economy.”

Mr Powell said another main part of the plan was to better manage national parks and make them good neighbours again.

“Under this tired and inept Labor government, many parks have become infested with weeds and feral animals and complaints from local landholders and park visitors have simply fallen on deaf ears,” he said.

“For far too long, Labor has followed a ‘lock it up and leave it' mentality when it comes to national parks, all at the behest of the Greens.”

Mr Powell said just “protecting” national parks was not achieving anything and that opening the parks to people would attract more fees that could be used to employ more park rangers and better identify and protect different species of plants and animals.

“The situation has become so bad that the Auditor-General recently reported that only 17% of Queensland's protected areas have proper management plans, and park rangers are now responsible for maintaining more than 150sq km each,” he said.

Mr Powell said while the Greens might have a problem with it, the LNP policy was developed out of consultation with people.

The LNP candidate for Burnett, Stephen Bennett, said the policy would offer many positives.

“It is a positive step forward for recreational users and for the conservation of our national parks,” Mr Bennett said.

Topics:  lnp national parks

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