Have your say on national park management plan for Minjerribah

Issued: 5 June

The Department of Environment and Science, in partnership with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC), is inviting public comment on a draft management plan for the Naree Budjong Djara National Park on iconic Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island).

Deputy Director-General of Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Partnerships (QPWS&P) Ben Klaassen said Minjerribah was the second largest sand island in the world and home to a number of threatened and endangered species.

“More than 50 percent of the island is now protected as the Naree Budjong Djara National Park, an Indigenous Joint Management Area,” Mr Klaassen said.

“Naree Budjong Djara means ‘My Mother Earth’ to Minjerribah’s Traditional Owners, the Quandamooka people, and their relationship with the island dates back thousands of years.

“The Quandamooka people’s connection to the land, sea and Country is still strong today and we are proud to jointly manage the national park in partnership with QYAC.

“QPWS&P and QYAC are jointly developing the management plan for the national park with a view to ensuring that the island’s key values and significant cultural features are protected while maintaining a great experience for visitors.

“Balancing the cultural and natural values and the tourism needs of the island is critical.

“The management plan will identify the park’s key values, threats to those values, and how QPWS&P and QYAC will work together to jointly manage visitor issues and tourism opportunities.

“The plan has been produced using a values-based planning framework that is based on international standards.

“All public submissions will be considered before the draft management plan is finalised,” Mr Klaassen said.

QYAC CEO Cameron Costello said the management plan involved Traditional Owners caring for country, as they have for generations past, guaranteeing the area would remain a pristine sanctuary.

“We’re investing in Quandamooka rangers, building improved walking tracks for visitors and a range of improved visitor facilities and the draft management plan reflects a strong partnership with QPWS&P,” he said.

Naree Budjong Djara National Park was declared in March 2011 and includes the area previously known as Blue Lake National Park.

The park is home to diverse habitats including mangroves, wetlands, endangered heathlands, freshwater lakes, rainforest, old-growth forests and open woodland.

Archaeological studies have found evidence of some of the earliest human habitation in south-east Queensland. Countless generations of Quandamooka People have cared for and lived sustainably on the lands, islands and waters in the Moreton Bay (Quandamooka) region and have continued to maintain a deep spiritual connection to this Country.

Mr Klaassen said the department remained committed to working with the Quandamooka People to identify more land that could become national park across the island.

“We recently released the Minjerribah Protected Area Expansion Strategy which outlines the government’s vision towards securing up to 80 per cent of Minjerribah as national park,” he said.

The draft Naree Budjong Djara National Park management plan is available at Get involved and on the Parks and Forests site. Submissions are open till 3 July 2020.