Queensland government to establish eco-tourism operations


LOW-impact holiday accommodation will be built in or adjacent to seven national parks in Queensland under a State Government plan to boost eco-tourism.

Premier Anna Bligh announced the decision in State Parliament this morning, saying the accommodation would be built and operated by the private sector but owned by the Government.

The seven locations include Fraser Island, Moreton Island, Mission Beach, Lamington National Park along with the Wet Tropics and the Whitsundays.

Ms Bligh said other states had successfully pursued eco-tourism developments, citing the example of Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, and Queensland should promote its natural beauty.

She said while nobody wanted to see five-star resorts taking over national parks, it was important to create new opportunities for jobs in the tourism industry.

Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said the developments – likely to be semi-permanent safari-style tents – would have to meet strict environmental standards and would only be built where there was already established infrastructure.

She said money from the development would be pumped back into national parks.