Queensland’s wildlife and the environment are winners in this year’s State Budget, with more than $90 million allocated to a range of environmental initiatives including national parks revitalisation, crocodile management, koala conservation, fire management and the eradication of yellow crazy ants.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science Leeanne Enoch said Queenslanders care about the environment and this year’s Budget is ensuring it continues to be protected.
“We have allocated $10 million for national parks revitalisation in 2019-20, which will go towards the ongoing recovery of national parks affected by Tropical Cyclone Debbie and other significant weather events, as well as ongoing improvements and upgrades to other iconic national parks,” she said.
“These include parks in the Whitsundays and Mackay as well as parks in The Daintree, Gondwana World Heritage Area, Noosa National Park, and the Great Sandy National Park.”
Minister Enoch said $16 million was also going towards the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service’s (QPWS) Enhanced Fire Management program.
“QPWS manages more than 600 protected areas, including 13 million hectares of Queensland’s parks and forests,” Ms Enoch said.
“Approximately 60% of QPWS managed estate falls within bushfire prone areas and this funding will further the Palaszczuk Government’s work in bushfire mitigation.”
The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is also getting a funding boost this year, with $9 million allocated over three years to continue the yellow crazy ant local eradication program.
“The yellow crazy ant is one of the top 100 worst invasive species and is listed as a ‘restricted pest’ under Queensland’s Biosecurity Act 2014,” Ms Enoch said.
“Some excellent work has been done in this program over many years and through this funding, the Palaszczuk Government is ensuring the continuation of that work to protect the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area from these pests.”
Improving waste management continues to be a priority, with $1 million being provided over two years for the development of a waste management data strategy for Queensland.
“Improving waste data management is a crucial part of implementing waste management reforms in Queensland.
“This year’s budget will also see expenditure for key programs funded from the waste levy, including programs to support small businesses and the construction industry to improve their waste practices, and further investment in grants for environmental projects,” Ms Enoch said.
Ms Enoch said the Government was also continuing its work to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
“Protecting the Great Barrier Reef is one of the Palaszczuk Government’s Advancing Queensland Priorities and we are continuing our work to ensure it is protected, with $75.4 million allocated this financial year as part of the $330 million record funding over five years from 2018-19.”
The Palaszczuk Government has also allocated $6 million in this year’s Budget over two years for improved crocodile management across all Queensland crocodile habitat areas.
“This funding will help further the work being conducted by the Government in managing crocodiles, including investigating all reports and capturing problem crocodiles when required, along with the ‘Crocwise’ public education and public awareness initiative,” Minister Enoch said.
Koalas will benefit from $1.5 million in this year’s Budget which includes infrastructure improvements at the Moggill Koala Rehabilitation Centre and supporting their ongoing work, as well as funding to RSPCA for the oversight of the 1300 WILDLIFE Hotline service.
Budget highlights for the environment include:
- $10 million for continued revitalisation of Queensland’s national parks
- $16 million for enhanced fire management on Queensland’s national parks and forests
- $9 million for yellow crazy ant eradication in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Areas and adjacent areas
- $6 million for improved crocodile management
- $1.5 million for continued koala conservation