COVID-19 response and updates

(as at 13 July 2020)

The Queensland and Australian response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to evolve, with measures being put in place to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and safeguard the health and safety of the community.

Queensland Health is leading the Queensland Government’s response and it is important for all Queenslanders to keep informed and follow the latest health advice - www.health.qld.gov.au/coronavirus

The Department of Environment and Science is actively managing its response in line with the latest advice from health experts and has activated its Business Continuity Plan to ensure it is able to continue to deliver core services.

Supporting Queensland’s environment, economy and its communities remains a top priority and we continue to deliver all environmental management, protection, incident response and regulation services.

To safeguard the health and safety of the community and support affected industries, the following arrangements are in place.

  • All public facing DES offices are currently closed but the department can still be contacted by phone and email.
  • National park and state forest day use areas, walking tracks and camping areas are open. To book camping visit the Queensland National Parks Booking Service and visit Park Alerts for information about specific locations and latest updates.
  • Cooloola and Bribie Island Recreation Areas have been designated Restricted Access Areas under the Recreation Areas Management Act to assist with managing visitor numbers and community safety as part of the government’s COVID-19 response. Visitors must secure a COVID-19 Restricted Access Area Authority to enter these Restricted Access Areas before travelling even if you hold a valid vehicle access permit. This is available for no additional cost to the normal requirements for vehicle and camping permits. For more information, visit the Queensland National Parks Booking Service.
  • Travel restrictions remain in force under the Queensland Chief Health Officer public health directions for the designated Indigenous community areas of Kowanyama, Wujal Wujal, Northern Peninsula Area and the Torres Strait. National parks in these areas (Ussher Point and those North of Jardine River) remain closed to the public living outside the designated areas. Bookings made from outside a designated area will be cancelled. Check the DATSIP website prior to travelling to designated Indigenous community areas and check Park Alerts prior to visiting any national parks and state forest in Queensland.
  • The Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre remains closed, however we are working to reopen as soon as possible in line with Queensland Health directives (note Daisy Hill Koala CentreDavid Fleay Wildlife Park and the Mon Repos Turtle Centre are all open).
  • Cultural institutions and arts centres are closed and public events and programming are cancelled into the foreseeable future.  Arts Queensland is implementing a number of measures to support the arts sector.
    Find out more at www.arts.qld.gov.au
  • The Odour Abatement Taskforce shopfront at Ipswich is closed.
    The Taskforce is still responding to odour complaints which can be made by calling 1300 130 372 (option 3) or through the online form.
  • The Queensland Herbarium public reference centre is closed as is the front counter service for receiving specimens in person. Specimens can still be sent by post or Queensland.Herbarium@qld.gov.au.
  • The Queensland Government will defer the commencement of the new or expanded cropping and horticulture activities requirements and the new sediment and nutrient emission standard for new point source activities under the Reef protection regulations until 1 June 2021. Public consultation on the draft standard conditions for new or expanded commercial cropping and horticulture has also been suspended and will recommence later in 2020.
  • COVID-19 information and resources are available for environmental authority holders.

As the situation evolves and to ensure continuity of the delivery of our critical services we may be required to enact further business continuity plans. We will keep you informed of any changes that may impact service delivery and operations as soon as possible. Read more about the best way to contact us.

For the latest information about the Queensland Government’s COVID-19 response visit www.qld.gov.au

Media enquiries

For media organisations and journalists only.

National Parks Works and Jobs Boost program

Queensland’s national parks have been given an $8.93 million funding boost as part of the Queensland Government’s economic recovery plan.