A new national park … too little too late

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North Stradbroke Island in Queensland has been declared a national park.

As we reported last week, the the government is anxious to map out future plans for the popular tourist spot once sand mining operations are ended there. The new park will be called Naree Budjong Djara, which means “My Mother Earth”.

Environment Minister Vicky Darling said that declaring 13,000 hectares on North Stradbroke Island a national park honoured an earlier pledge.

“We remain committed to delivering on our promise to protect a further 30% of North Stradbroke Island and end sand mining by 2026,” she said in a statement.

However, conservation groups are not impressed and say that two-thirds of the area that has been declared a national park has already been damaged or destroyed by mining.

“This government has declared high conservation areas will be national park in the future but only after they have been irreversibly damaged and destroyed by sand mining,” said Nikki Parker, a spokesperson for Friends of Stradbroke Island.

Public access to parts of the new national park will be restricted while it undergoes rehabilitation.

The local indigenous Quandamooka people and the state government will jointly manage the park.

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