Park Ecotourism Proposals Move to Next Stage

The Newman Government is calling for more information on a number of proposals to grow Queensland’s ecotourism sector.

National Parks Minister Steve Dickson is asking for further details on proposals received earlier this year to help achieve the Government’s goal of making Queensland Australia’s number one nature-based tourism destination.

“Queensland’s protected areas are key tourism attractions, and our vision is to make Queensland a world leader in ecotourism by 2020, as the Newman Government continues to grow our four pillar economy,” Mr Dickson said.

“I was pleased to see a variety of projects — infrastructure such as a suspension bridge, zipline, mountain bike park and ropes/adventure course; accommodation facilities including resorts, permanent tents or ecolodges; and the reuse of existing facilities such as shearing quarters and lighthouses.

“They range from small-scale, low-expenditure projects to multi-million dollar developments, spread throughout Queensland.”

Expressions of Interest for new and innovative ecotourism concepts, in and around Queensland’s national parks were called for in June, with 47 applications received in total.

Mr Dickson said 31 proponents of 32 projects now had the opportunity to take their proposal further.

“Proponents of 15 projects will be invited to submit a detailed proposal for further assessment, 10 projects will be referred to another department, and seven may be feasible under a permit,” he said.

“Our aim is to have contemporary and world leading ecotourism developments and I’m excited to see so many great proposals that will showcase our natural assets through best practice and innovative products.

 “We are blessed with more than 1,300 national parks, marine parks and other reserves conserving a diverse array of species and ecosystems, our rich Indigenous cultural heritage and five World Heritage listed areas — more than any other state or territory.

“Rest assured this will be a balanced approach — the amendment requires all approved ecotourism facilities be in the public interest, environmentally sustainable and preserve the natural and cultural values.

[ENDS] 22 December 2013

Contact: Michelle Buckworth 0418 433 647

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