The Authority is currently reviewing the Wet Tropics Management Plan 1998 which protects the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area through regulation of activities that may impact on World Heritage values.
The review is undertaken every 10 years in collaboration with all levels of government, Rainforest Aboriginal people, landholders and the broader community within the Wet Tropics.
During Phase 1 of the review, the Authority consulted the community through meetings and events over two months prior to the close of submissions on 30 June 2017.
The Executive Director, Mr Scott Buchanan says direct input from Wet Tropics residents and businesses during the first round of public consultation has been vital.
"We were keen to hear the community’s views on how the Plan could better reflect changes in community attitudes" he said.
The Authority held meetings with Rainforest Aboriginal peoples and their organisations and issued thousands of letters, brochures and pamphlets to landholders, stakeholders and neighbours.
The Authority is pleased with the number and comprehensiveness of nearly 100 submissions it has received.
“I would like to thank the individuals and organisations that have taken up our invitation to make a submission,” Mr Buchanan said.
“The submissions from landowners, neighbours and interested organisations have generated valuable ideas to better protect the World Heritage Area.
“We are very pleased with this result and will continue to engage with the public and government organisations throughout the remaining Plan Review stages into 2018,” he said.
All submissions will be analysed and a Consultation Report will be prepared over the coming months.
After consideration of all submissions received a revised Wet Tropics Management Plan will be made available for a second round of public comment and consultation in early 2018 before a final amended Plan is presented to the Wet Tropics Ministerial Forum and the Queensland Government.
As part of the Plan's review a series of ‘story maps’ have been posted on the Authority’s website to illustrate proposed changes through text, images and multimedia content. This gives people a visual overview of what changes to zones, roads, tracks and visitor centres may look like. By swiping left to right over the digital diagrams people can compare new zoning proposals against the current situation.
The Wet Tropics Management Plan 1998 is subordinate legislation under the Wet Tropics World Heritage Protection and Management Act 1993. To read more about the Authority’s Plan review visit www.wettropics.gov.au/wet-tropics-plan-review.
About the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area
The Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area was inscribed into the World Heritage List in 1988. The Area traverses almost 450 kilometres of north Queensland coastline spanning almost 900,000 hectares. While mostly rainforest, the Area also features diverse habitats including open forests, woodlands, wetlands and mangroves. Sheltered within those areas are more than 4000 species of plants and over 700 species of vertebrate animals. In all, the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area boasts Australia’s greatest diversity of plants and animals within an area that covers just 0.12 per cent of the continent.