National Parks Minister rails at 'radical green groups'
NATIONAL Parks Minister Steve Dickson has slammed what he calls "Increasingly irrational claims" claims about Queensland national parks from "radical green groups" as completely false and nothing more than scaremongering.
Mr Dickson said in the lead-up to a Federal election, nothing was surer than the green movement coming out with wild statements in a desperate attempt to sure up waning support for their Labor mates.
"The Newman Government is determined to protect and strengthen our National Parks estate and we have already made moves to do so, with a scientific review underway to ensure the proper management of land locked up and left to rot under the former Labor Government," Mr Dickson said.
"Accusations and sinister rhetoric from green factions, led in the main by former Labor-era public servants who we increasingly see heading-up these supposedly 'non-political' environmental groups are simply wrong.
"There will be no open slather grazing in national parks. There will be no logging in national parks. There will be no hunting in national parks.
"Where were these so called conservationists when just 17 per cent of Queensland's national parks had management plans in place under the previous Labor Government?
"The detrimental effect this has had, with locked up parks overrun by pests and weeds is staggering."
Mr Dickson said less than 50,000 hectares of national park land was being made available for emergency grazing in response to the unfolding animal welfare crisis in North-West Queensland - about 0.4 percent of Queensland's 12.5 million hectares of national park estate.
"I make no apology for responding to the dire animal welfare crisis facing graziers in our state by offering temporary agistment in some remote and rarely visited properties and national parks for an emergency, fixed term of six months," he said.
"Let me make this very clear, this is not the Daintree. The former grazing land we have allowed access to is so remote that there were less than 10 overnight visitors during the last year.
"Loopy green logic would see cattle dying excruciating death by starvation, or owners being forced to shoot them, while just next door in these isolated areas of North-West Queensland, life-saving fodder is burnt to reduce fuel-loads.
"The very fact that we have National Parks with existing cattle runs at all is a direct result of Labor 's tokenistic bid to reach a percentage target - and had nothing to do with protecting quality land for future generations.
The Newman Government is investing more than $25 million in Queensland's National parks this financial year, and is firmly committed to ensuring our National Parks are open for Queenslanders to enjoy and protected for future generations.