The Queensland Government is pushing ahead to privatise parts of the state's most picturesque national parks by offering exclusive use to tourism developers for up to 60 years.
The first three parks affected will be Hinchinbrook Island, Whitsunday Island and the Great Sandy National Parks. The tourism minister says that other sites are being investigated for privatisation including the Gold Coast.
A document found on a government website reveals that the state is willing to give away publicly owned national park land to private operators. In the document the government says it is willing to provide private businesses with:
- State-owned national park land for private eco-accommodation development;
- exclusive ground leases for a term of up to 30 years plus one up to 30 year option to operate the private eco-accommodation;
- assistance during the approvals process;
- a coordinated “one government” approach to comply with other government requirements; and
- a contribution of up to $5 million for eco-accommodation built along the Whitsunday Island Trail.
It appears the government wishes to rush this process through the assessment process (which it calls the approvals process ... it seems the outcome is already decided) by bringing the projects under the control of the Coordinator General.
Please sign the petition on our website to voice your concern about the privatisation of our most valuable assets.