Australian news site, news.com.au, has reported that the Queensland government has approved plans to build five eco-tourism lodges across several of the state’s best national parks. The lodges will receive 20 year lease and license options instead of the normal ten year options, as operators said the 10-years leases were not long enough to see profit of the investment costs.
Meetings are being set up between Tourism Minister Jan Jarrett, Environment Minister Vicky Darling, conservation groups and ecotourism operators to polish the fine points…. Ms Darling said detailed analysis of everything from environmental values, to access, transport and heritage values was carried out before one site, in Moreton Island National Park, was removed due to environmental reasons.
“Protecting the natural values and the beauty of our national parks was the number one priority,” Ms Darling said. “This is about promoting our parks so more people can appreciate conservation while also giving our tourism industry a much-needed helping hand.”
Environmental groups pledge to keep a “wary eye” on the lodges, as “too much human interference can degrade the health of some of our precious natural areas.”
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