9 December 2018—Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch joined with industry and community leaders to commemorate the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area’s thirtieth anniversary.
The Wet Tropics was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on 9 December 1988, following a lengthy public debate with strong community involvement for and against the listing.
It is one of only 19 sites worldwide to satisfy all four natural World Heritage listing criteria.
Thirty years on, Minister Enoch says there was now little doubt about the Area’s values.
“I am proud to be here today to celebrate what is now a world-renowned natural and cultural landscape, which contributes so much to the lives of local residents and the tourism industry in particular,” Minister Enoch said.
“As a Quandamooka woman, I acknowledge the 20 Traditional Owner tribal groups across the Wet Tropics, the only First Nations people in Australia to have lived permanently in the rainforest landscape."
Minister Enoch said the vibrant and passionate Wet Tropics community would ensure a bright future for the Area.
“As we look towards the next 30 years in the Wet Tropics, I am confident that the strong leadership evident here will ensure results in important areas such as climate change adaptation and fruitful Traditional Owner engagement.”
Whilst at the Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, Minister Enoch launched a public display celebrating 30 years of Wet Tropics World Heritage. This informative, entertaining and engaging display will be open to the public until 6 January 2019.
To mark the milestone, and with an eye to the future, Wet Tropics Management Authority Chair, Leslie Shirreffs (pictured below, centre), joined with directors Anne Clarke (left) and Leah Talbot (right) to plant an endangered Daintree gardenia (Gardenia actinocarpa) in the Cairns Botanic Gardens’ Gondwanan Evolution Garden.
The understory plant is known only from the Noah Creek area of Daintree National Park, displaying pleasantly perfumed white flowers.