After many years of work by a number of island residents, the island’s ‘buffer zones’ of unallocated state land – the areas of land between the National Park and urban development – have now been included in the island’s National Park.
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This, in effect, increases the Island’s National Park by 31% – and means that 3616 hectares of the Island are now protected under the NP system.
‘The addition strengthens the protection that is provided to the island’s natural and cultural resources’ Member for Townsville Mandy Johnson said about the expansion.
‘The rocky, wooded terrain of these areas is a key scenic feature of the island and a large part of the appeal for residents and tourists alike, and now it is protected for the future’, she said.
Mandy acknowledged the importance of the areas now protected to the Wulgurukaba people, the Traditional Owners of the area, and the support they had given to the inclusion of the new areas in the National Park.
Speaking on the island, Mandy also acknowledged the work of many Island residents over the years to bring about the expansion, and made special mention of the work done by MINCA founder-member, the late Peter le Grand, who worked on the project from when it was first mooted in 2003 up to his death, almost three years ago.
Mandy explained that the expansion of the Magnetic Island National Park was part of a raft of new additions to the national parks of Queensland made by the State government, which is committed to increasing the national park estate to 7.7 per cent of the area of Queensland by 2020.
MINCA welcomes with enthusiasm the inclusion of the buffer zones in the National Park – which ensures their protection in perpetuity, and thanks the Wulgurukaba people for their support of this issue.