Thursday, 10 April 2014

Montville Public Meeting - update

Quite a good turn out to a public meeting - c100 people or so. The meeting had four public speakers. No one from the government came to present, despite being invited. 
The plan [such as it is] has the Qld government suggesting to private enterprise that someone should step up and establish a zipline within Kondalilla NP. The Qld government would lease the land and gain a small percentage of profits. The business would get the lion's share. 

Seemingly no one at the meeting is against the goodly business of ziplining however many were against the idea of establishing it in a Queensland National Park.

The reasons for objections are many but include;

The development would be against the cardinal principle of managing National Parks. From the Qld National Park's website - "The cardinal principle for managing national parks is to provide, to the greatest possible extent, for the permanent preservation of the area's natural condition and the protection of the area's cultural resources and values.Natural condition means protection from human interference - allowing natural processes to proceed.
The construction and continued maintenance of the zipline would affect flora and fauna [including threatened taxa].
Safety considerations may mean additional pressure to clear trees, branches etc, thus affecting the ecology further; for example, additional light reaching the forest floor could allow for and encourage greater weed growth.

National Park resources could be diverted to protect commercal assets rather than the core business of managing the area for protectng and maintaining biodiversity.

Doubt over the economic benefit of such a development to the National Park estate and concerns about, if the project failed, who would meet the cost of infrastructure removal?

Concern about tax payer funds sponsoring business which may lead to damaging the state's environmental assets.

As an ecotourism project it fails the test of definition. Definition from the Dept of National Parks etc - "Ecotourism encompasses a broad spectrum of environmentally responsible activities that increase visitor appreciation, develop a better understanding of the natural and cultural heritage, and are carefully managed to be ecologically, economically and socially sustainable." Exisiting zipline operations emphasise the 'wow' factor of ziplining rather than a 'better understanding of natural and cultural heritage'.

Further National Parks generally encourage all people to appreciate the park's natural virtues while Ziplines are targeted clearly at a younger demographic who have the money to pay for entry - at the exclusion of other groups.

For many the opposition can be summed up thus; 'Make a zipline but put it on private land and do not expect tax payer assistance!'

No comments:

Post a Comment