Updated: March 26, 2012
Campbell Newman must show strong, positive leadership to protect Queensland’s environment
The Wilderness Society (Qld) Inc.
25 March 2012
The Wilderness Society has congratulated Campbell Newman and the LNP on their decisive victory in the state election, and has called on the Premier-elect to be a responsible and positive custodian of Queensland’s unique environment.
At the same time, the leading environmental group has urged Mr Newman to reconsider his policy on Wild Rivers legislation, highlighting that despite the strong anti-Wild Rivers campaign by the LNP in the Far North Queensland seat of Cook, Labor still has won a majority of the Indigenous vote on Cape York (ALP 54% to LNP 31%).
“From Cape York, the Gulf country and the Great Barrier Reef to the Channel Country in the West and the tall forests of the south-east, Queensland’s natural environment is one of the most spectacular in the world and it needs protecting. Queenslanders have entrusted Campbell Newman with our environment. We urge him not to let us down.”
“The fact that the LNP inherits an environment in solid shape is no accident. Labor should be congratulated for its vision in protecting Queensland’s wild rivers and native forests, ending broad scale land clearing and protecting 1.3million hectares of Cape York and handing this country back to traditional owners.”
“The task of properly protecting and supporting Queensland’s environment is now in the hands of Mr Newman and the LNP. Queensland’s envious lifestyle depends of a healthy environment. Neglect by the new LNP government will see it damaged and destroyed.”
“The LNP faces unprecedented challenges in managing the excesses of the mining boom, protecting rivers, maintaining tight controls on land clearing, nominating Cape York for World Heritage and planning for the state’s changing climate. In this regard it has an opportunity to better Labor’s record, and that is a challenge and a test we will be setting for Mr Newman.”
“Premier Campbell Newman should listen closely to the Traditional Owners across the state rather than those of pro-mining groups such as Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation or self-appointed leaders like Noel Pearson. We believe the vast majority of Traditional Owners on the Cape and elsewhere are strong supporters of environmental protection for their rivers and landscapes, and we urge the Newman government to maintain full protection of Queensland’s pristine wild rivers.”
“We welcome Mr Newman’s $600,000 commitment to continue the assessment of the natural and cultural values of Cape York, and urge him not to intervene in what to date has been a thorough, informed and authentic World Heritage Assessment process.”
“A large World Heritage Area which protects the vast and spectacular natural and cultural values of the Cape with the consent of Traditional Owners would be an outstanding achievement for any first term government. A final decision should be based on strong science and traditional ecological knowledge, and accompanied with an economic development package so that the benefits for Cairns and Cape York communities are maximized.”
The Wilderness Society has indicated it will adopt an open mind in its approach to the new government, will assess its environmental credentials on merit and performance, and looks forward to a productive working relationship with the new Premier.
Queensland Campaign Manager - Dr Tim Seelig (Bris): 0439 201183
Northern Australia Campaigner - Gavan McFadzean (Cairns): 0414 754 023
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society Qld Inc - Brisbane
67 Boundary Street (upstairs)
West End, QLD, 4101
Phone: 07 3846 1420