Let Queenslanders Love Our National Parks

by Ted Sorensen
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On a visit to the Sunshine Coast today Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington called on the Palaszczuk Government to open up national parks and nature reserves to eco-tourism ventures to provide a much needed boost to the Queensland tourism industry.

Ms Frecklington said for too long Queensland’s most beautiful places have been locked away from locals and tourists in the mistaken belief that was the best way to protect the environment.

“Sadly the Palaszczuk Labor Government isn’t interested in capitalising on the wonderful natural assets that make Queensland and the Sunshine Coast unique,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Instead Labor kow-tow to activists who want to lock up our National Parks and throw away the key.  We believe that the more people can experience Queensland’s amazing natural beauty, the more they will support ways to preserve it for generations to come.”

“If managed in an environmentally responsible way there’s no reason why our parks can’t be opened up so that people can learn about, and appreciate, their beauty.  If Labor was serious about supporting our tourism industry, they’d create an opportunity for ecotourism operators to propose low-impact accommodation and tourism infrastructure in our national parks.”

LNP Shadow Tourism and Environment Minister David Crisafulli said even Labor’s own hand-picked tourism boss has publicly lamented the inaction by the state government on ecotourism opportunities.**

“I fully support Tourism and Events Queensland chair Brett Godfrey’s view that Queensland must act now to claw back its share of the national tourism industry,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“New Zealand and Tasmania are all over this with their environmentally-respectful resorts and lodges available to tourists – we’re falling behind because Labor refuses to make the most of what makes us special.  Not only are Queenslanders missing out on opportunities to enjoy our national parks, our state’s economy is missing out on tourism jobs and income.”

“The LNP is by no means advocating an open slather approach to activities in our National Parks.  This is all about bringing people into a place so they learn to fall in love with it and learn how to protect it.”

**quotes from Tourism and Events Queensland Chair Brett Godfrey – Courier Mail, 23 December 2017

  • “We do not have one person who can sleep in a bed in a national park in Queensland.”
  • “No one says New Zealand has really buggered up their national parks by opening tourism.”
  • “This adventure tourism market is the fastest growing tourism sector in the world and we have some of the best national parks in the world, but we are not taking advantage of it.”
  • “Look at what they have done in New Zealand with the Milford Track, or down in Tasmania now with the Three Capes.”
  • “To get back on top in the tourism industry, Queensland needs to be the best at something and we are renowned as having some of the best natural experiences in the world.”
  • “Getting back to the days of having a 50 per cent share of the market is going to be a massive challenge.”
  • “Tasmania took a big leap 10 years ago to allow eco-tourism and they are smacking it out of the park.”

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