Access to Queensland’s national parks will be quicker, easier and more convenient in 2013, after National Parks Minister Steve Dickson announced a raft of permit improvements.
Mr Dickson said the Queensland Government had reduced red tape by 50 per cent for commercial and recreational activities in the state’s national parks, state forests and other protected and recreation areas.
“I am committed to opening up our national parks for everyone to enjoy and to help grow our vital eco-tourism industry by making it easier for operators,” Mr Dickson said.
“Whereas the former Labor Government piled bureaucracy on top of bureaucracy, with no recognition of its impact on the real world, we have streamlined the process for people to enjoy our most beautiful natural resources.
“These changes have simplified permits for guided tours, commercial filming and group activities, and will also save taxpayers $500,000 over the next four years in unnecessary administration costs.
“The Newman Government has cut through Labor’s tangled web of permits, which carried no conservation outcomes and actually cost more money to review and issue then any revenue they were generating.”
Mr Dickson said in some cases the need for permit approvals had been removed entirely, while in others there was no longer a need to obtain multiple permits for a single set of activities.
“For example, instead of an eight page group activity permit for things like weddings, recreational events or school excursions in state forests and recreation and protected areas, now a simple booking is all that’s required,” he said.
“Commercial tour operators now need just one permit which covers all areas, including marine parks, where previously separate permits would have been required for protected areas managed under separate pieces of legislation.”
Mr Dickson said similar changes had been made for commercial film operators wanting to film or photograph in national parks, state forests or other protected areas.
Further information on permits is available at www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/licences-permits/index.html.