Queensland overdue for shared management of parks

The Australian Conservation Foundation says the Queensland government is embarrassing the state by lagging so far behind the rest of the country when it comes to sharing national parks management with Indigenous Traditional Owners.

“Queensland should have been part of today’s handover ceremony between the New South Wales government and the Githabul people,” ACF spokesperson Karen Robinson said today.

The NSW Government will today sign an agreement with the Githabul people to jointly manage more than 70,000 hectares of national park and state forest in northern NSW. The Githabul claim also took in parts of southern Queensland, including Mt Lindsay, but no agreement has yet been reached with the Queensland Government.

“Many Indigenous people in Queensland are locked out of their traditional homelands because the State Government refuses to accept their right to jointly manage National Parks,” Ms Robinson said.

“Queensland’s Indigenous people don’t enjoy the same opportunities as those in other states because of the government’s outdated attitude to joint management even in areas such as Cape York where native title connections remain very strong.

“ACF again calls on Peter Beattie to get serious about adopting a model of genuine shared management that will give Queensland Indigenous Traditional Owners the same rights and opportunities Traditional Owners have in other Australian states and territories.

“Aboriginal people are being locked out of employment opportunities and all Queenslanders are missing out on the benefits that flow from linking traditional cultural knowledge with science-based approaches to conservation and national parks management,” Ms Robinson said.