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Issue 48, Fortnight of 23 January 2017
Image: Gap Creek Trail, Bare Rock, Main Range National Park, Dave Jones..

The Scenic Rim Trail -Thornton Trailhead to Spicers Peak Nature Refuge
Gainsdale Pty Ltd submitted proposal documents and an Environmental Management Plan to the Federal Government for referral under the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, just before Christmas. As yet no Approval has been granted, but we’ll keep you updated of any progress on this matter.

The proposal is to establish a multi-day bushwalking experience in Main Range National Park with a total length of 53 km. It is to consist of existing tracks, and management roads, both on private land and in the National Park, and the construction of new tracks, both within the National Park, and on private land, as follows:
  • 20.1 km of existing Class 3 & 4 National Park walking tracks;
  • 17.2 km of Class 5 walking track to be constructed within the National Park;
  • 5.6 km of existing National Park management roads and fire trails;
  • 4.5 km of existing Class 5 walking track on privately owned land;
  • 5.7 km of new Class 5 walking track on privately owned land.
The trail will be open to both guided walks run by Gainsdale Pty Ltd, and the general public.

Gainsdale Pty Ltd are also looking to construct two Ecocamps within National Park land for their exclusive use. The Amphitheatre View Wilderness Ecocamp, and the Woodcutters Ecocamp, will be designed to accommodate up to 10 walkers and two guides.

The works, if approved will be fully funded by Gainsdale Pty Ltd.

Such proposals have become possible due to changes made by the Newman Government in 2013 to the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992. After these changes the state government called for Expressions of Interest in 2013 for suitable ideas for the development of Ecotourism facilities on Queensland Protected Areas and adjacent state lands.
 
Gainsdale Pty Ltd Environmental Policy
QLD’s Draft Protected Area Strategy to be Released for Comment
The Draft Queensland Protected Area Strategy discussion paper will be released for public comment via an online survey on the 30th January 2017.

As our advocacy team will be reviewing the document to formulate a response on behalf of NPAQ, we would invite any interested members to forward their comments by email to admin@npaq.org.au

Naturally we would also encourage both our members and supporters to respond to the online survey.

The draft strategy aims to facilitate discussion on the key actions identified by the Dept of Environment and Heritage Protection and the Dept of National Parks, Sport and Racing, to achieve a sustainable expansion and effective management of Queensland's protected area estate with involvement from both the public and private sectors.

We will provide a link to the strategy in line with the public release date.

As key stakeholders in Queensland's protected area estate, members only can obtain a copy prior to release date by contacting the NPAQ office by email.
Image: Maintain Bikes in Nerang National Park, Griffith University

Mountain Bikes in National Parks
A survey conducted by Griffith University has shown that mountain bike riders in SEQ are happy to use shared trails in National Parks, and are not bothered by hikers. However hikers weren't surveyed to see if the feeling is mutual. Comment here: https://www.facebook.com/NPAQld/
Image: Koala, The Guardian

Koalas are at the centre of a perfect storm
Land clearing laws are posing a much bigger threat to Koala populations than Climate Change. Devastating land clearing rates in QLD followed the Newman Government’s changes to land clearing laws, which the current Labor Government have not been able to overturn. Now in NSW, the government has just passed land clearing legislation.

Could we save the much beloved Koala by putting more pressure on governments to halt the current land clearing rates?

Kevin Evans, the NSW National Parks Association CEO, published an article the in Guardian last week about this issue. Have a read.

Kids In National Parks
Researchers are showing that Nature Play is important for the physical and emotional well-being of our children, especially in this digital age. Have a look at this article from the Conversation, and get your kids out into nature.

Check out our guide for Getting Kids into National Parks, featuring 84 walks in SEQ Queensland.
 
We are planning to produce guides for other regions and are looking for local input. So contact us if you can contribute.
Image: Night Parrot, Steve Murphy

Night Parrot Drinking Habitats Revealed
As research on the behaviour of the endangered Night Parrot progresses, it becomes clearer on how to best manage their habitats and improve the chance of survival for the species.

Hopefully the project at the protected Pullen Pullen reserve by Bush Heritage and conservation scientists will lead to a positive outcome for the threatened species.

New research into the Night Parrot’s drinking habitat could be a breakthrough in the conservation effort.
Read ABC article here.

Image: Bushfire at Captain Creek central Queensland, Australia, Griffith University

Invertebrates Key to Appropriate Controlled Burn Frequency

Research being conducted at Griffith University is looking into how beetles may be the key to determining appropriate fire regimes, as they are important in the decomposition of leaf litter, reducing fuel loads.  Read more.

Image: Waterfall, Yvonne Parsons

Annual Fundraiser
Please give generously to help protect our national parks, by supporting the National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ) Annual Fundraising Drive!

Over the coming year, we will continue advocating for the protection of our parks in the face of continued threats, including grazing and high impact tourism developments.

NPAQ has been advocating for over 85 years for the expansion, protection and effective management of our national parks and reserves. Your support will help to continue this work.

Please donate to our annual fundraising drive to ensure that conservation is at the heart of Queensland’s National Parks.

Please click here to donate now: https://npaqueensland.worldsecuresystems.com/donate
Image: Book Cover, FOSI

FOSI are releasing a guidebook for North Stradbroke Island
NPAQ affiliates Friends of Stradbroke Island (FOSI), have put together a new guidebook for North Stradbroke Island, introducing the island’s unique flora and fauna. It contains over 700 photographs and has been a labour of love for the not-for profit group.

All proceeds from the book will be put into conservation efforts on the Island.

The book will be available to purchase from late January from: https://stradbroke-nature.myshopify.com
NPAQ’s Annual Easter Camp will be at a private campground known as Yandilla, in Mt Kilcoy, adjacent to Conondale National Park. The campground has flushing toilets and hot showers available.

The property provides opportunities for walkers, photographers and bird watchers alike, with several waterfalls on the property, interesting flora and fauna, and a bird list of 160 species, not to mention the features of the nearby Conondale National Park.
 
Cost: $92.50 per person camping fees + $8 NPAQ Extended Activity Fee.
Kids under 14 years are free.

Sites are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment!
Payment is required at time of booking.
For more info or to Register
Saturday 4 February
Day Walk West Canungra Creek Circuit


Sunday 19 February
Bird Watching Moggill Conservation Park

Wednesday 22 February
Social Walk Daisy Hill


Wednesday 22 March
Social Walk to King Island, Moreton Bay Marine Park
Feather Map
Ongoing
Become a citizen scientist today by collecting wetland bird feathers you find on the ground or in the water and help our researchers create the first ever Feather Map of Australia.
Saturday 18th February 2017
Vegetation Management Project
at Jolly’s Lookout, D’Aguilar National Park
Leader: Angus McElnea
0429 854 446 or gus_mcelnea@hotmail.com

 
Fraser Island Defenders Organisation
Call for Volunteers for 2017
Wildlife Spotter
Ongoing
Become a citizen scientist and assist researchers by looking for animals in wilderness photos taken by automated cameras around Australia. Anyone can join in and you can do it all online.

 
Immerse yourself in a thrilling wildlife experience – go batty for Mt Etna tours!
Are you ready for an evening under the stars to discover the incredible history of Mt Etna and witness an amazing wildlife experience? 

Join the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers for an exciting adventure in Mt Etna Caves National Park 25km north of Rockhampton 
 
Each summer, rangers lead small groups of visitors to see the amazing sight of tens of thousands of tiny insect-eating bats emerging from Bat Cleft at sunset to feed.
 
QPWS Principal Ranger Peter Moore said this summer’s tours would run from Friday 2 December until mid-February.
 
Bat Cleft tours are held on Monday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Bookings are required as numbers are limited.  
 
Tours cost $11.05 for adults, $5.40 for children, $7.20 for pensioners and $33.00 for a family.
 
For further information and bookings, please contact the QPWS Rockhampton office on (07) 4936 0511 during business hours and 0429 630 923 after hours.

 
World Wetlands Day
Thursday 2nd February 2017
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