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t: 07 4052 0542 | f: 07 4031 1364 | a: 1st Floor, 15 Lake Street, P O Box 2050, Cairns Q  4870
www.wettropics.gov.au | email us here


Welcome to the latest issue of our quarterly e-newsletter. We hope it will keep you up to date with our activities and projects.

News highlights include the winners of the Cassowary Awards 2009 and Keep it Cool Poster competition and, for the first time, the Wet Tropics Region Activity Report from QPWS.

If you have any comments, contact us on 07 4052 0531 or give us your feedback here.

Feel free to pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Andrew Maclean,
Executive Director

Visit our web site here.



Cassowary Awards 2009

The 11th annual Cassowary Awards honoured eleven winners this year at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park on Saturday 7 November. Over 250 guests attended to recognise the community's achievements in a wide range of fields such as conservation, nature-based tourism, arts, science and Rainforest Aboriginal culture. The Awards were presented by Mr Steve Wettenhall, Member for Barron River, and Senator Jan McLucas. There were also four schools honoured in the Young Cassowary Awards. Winners and guests also enjoyed boomerang throwing and learning about Rainforest Aboriginal culture at Tjapukai. The Cassowary Awards were sponsored by Cairns Regional Council and Events NQ. The Young Cassowary Awards were sponsored by Daintree Discovery Centre, Skyrail, Harleys Crocodile Adventures and Terrain NRM. For information on the Cassowary Award winners visit the Wet Tropics website.

Gordonvale State School winners of the Young Cassowary Award

Keep it Cool Poster Competition

The Keep it Cool poster competition received over 250 entries this year. The winners were announced on Friday 21 August at the Cairns Regional Gallery where the winners’ artwork was displayed. The competition was organised and sponsored by WTMA, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Big Cat Reef Cruises. A 2010 calendar featuring the top twelve posters in the competition has just been released. If you would like a Keep it Cool calendar please visit the WTMA office in Cairns.


Gordonvale State School

Jordan Reid

Verity Parker

Cassowary Summit

WTMA held a community Cassowary Summit on 8 November at the Tanks Art Centre to celebrate Threatened Species Week. The summit was convened to highlight the plight of the cassowary and to share information about how to help conserve this endangered bird. Presentations were given about cassowary conservation from community groups, scientists, Traditional Owners, zoos and land managers. Participants were also treated to a play from Trinity Anglican School called Plight of the Cassowary.

The summit was organised by the Wet Tropics Management Authority and the Cassowary Recovery Team in partnership with the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre and supported by Cairns Regional Council.

Indigenous Tourism Workshops

The Wet Tropics Management Authority facilitated two Indigenous tourism workshops, in October. The first workshop was held at Echo Creek in Tully and the second at Mossman Gorge. The workshops were both well attended. Prompted by the workshops participants are now discussing the establishment of an Indigenous tourism network to help place North Queensland on the map as a destination for cultural tourism.

National Heritage List

The National Heritage List registers places with outstanding natural, Indigenous or heritage values to the nation. Following support by the Australian and Queensland Governments under the Wet Tropics Regional Agreement, Rainforest Aboriginal people nominated the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area to be included on the list for its Aboriginal cultural values. WTMA is currently assisting the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts to consult with Traditional Owners and the final decision on the recommendation is expected by December 2010.

Cairns Post NIE awards

WTMA was thanked by the Cairns Post for being a platinum sponsor for the News In Education pages at a ceremony on 10 November. The Authority also contributes stories to the newspaper and sponsors scrapbooks for schools to educate children about the values of the Area.




Wet Tropics Activity Report

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service have produced their Wet Tropics Region Activity Report for July to October 2009. It covers a range of land management and visitor services in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Mossman Gorge elevated boardwalk

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will be replacing the existing access track at Mossman Gorge with an elevated boardwalk. When completed, the boardwalk will provide a world-class experience, with wheelchair access to the World Heritage listed Mossman Gorge section of Daintree National Park. Construction will be in two stages. The first phase began on Tuesday 10 November and will take approximately three weeks. The second phase will commence after the wet season and is expected to take seven to nine weeks.

The project is being funded under the Australian Government's Jobs Fund. QPWS will work closely with tourism operators, Cairns Regional Council, and the community to maintain  levels of access. QPWS will advertise closure and disruption details prior to works commencing. Should you have any queries, please contact Senior Ranger Tina Alderson on 4098 2188.

Rehabilitating Mabi Forest

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service commenced a rehabilitation project in June 2007 to restore the ecologically endangered Mabi forest in the Curtain Fig National Park on the Atherton Tableland. The extensive disturbance to the rainforest canopy was as a result of Tropical Cyclone Larry in March 2006. The Curtain Fig National Park is the largest remnant habitat patch of Mabi forest of high integrity. The project aims to remove non-native weeds from the area to allow the rainforest to regenerate naturally. A total of 400 staff hours have been spent on this project by QPWS staff, with support from the Tablelands Regional Council, Malanda High School students, neighbouring landholders and volunteers. The main areas have now been rehabilitated and maintenance of the area will continue.

October 2007

July 2009

June 2007



TTNQ Tourism Awards

The 2009 Tropical North Queensland Tourism Awards were held on Saturday 31 October. WTMA congratulates all the winners, including operators in the Wet Tropics such as Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, Daintree Discovery Centre, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Spirit of the Rainforest Tour and Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours. To see the full list of the 2009 Tourism Award winners, visit the TTNQ website.

World Travel Awards

WTMA was excited to learn that Daintree Eco Lodge was announced as the world's leading eco-lodge at the World Travel Awards in London. Owners Terry and Cathy Maloney celebrated their win against competition from around the world, voted for by 183,000 travel agents.

Skal International Ecotourism Award

In another boost for Wet Tropics tourism, the Daintree Discovery Centre received an international award for ecotourism at the 70th Skal World Congress, held in Budapest, Hungary, in November. The Centre's tourism submission, entitled Sustainable Ecotourism, was declared the winner of the 8th Annual Skal International Ecotourism Awards in the category of General Countryside. The Centre is also a Wet Tropics visitor centre and has been a valuable partner for the Authority.

Wet Tropics Community

Community Tree Planting

Conservation Volunteers Australia run  revegetation projects in the Wet Tropics every Monday and Wednesday. Join the team of volunteers to help nurture the Barron River, Cattana Wetlands and Cairns Central Swamp. Activities include tree planting, mulching and weeding. Transport is provided, leaving at 8.30am and returning at 4pm. If you would like to participate, or for further information, please contact Joanne on (07) 4032 0844 or go to the Conservation Volunteers Australia website.

Clean up Australia Day

WTMA staff joined forces with the Wangetti Recovery Group to clean up the Wangetti Beach Reserve as part of Clean up Australia Day celebrations. Volunteers worked all morning to remove litter but were pleasantly surprised by the state of the beach. Past clean up efforts are clearly now being supported by many beach users.


Cairns Festival T-shirts

This year Cairns Festival t-shirts, developed in partnership with WTMA, featured a logo of a tree-kangaroo. Funds raised from the sale of the t-shirts during the festival were donated to The Tree-Kangaroo and Mammal Group, a community group based on the Atherton Tablelands.


Run for a Safe Climate

WTMA Executive Director, Andrew Maclean, welcomed a team from the national Run for a Safe Climate in Cairns on 3 November. The team of runners and staff all received gifts from the Authority to thank them for their dedication in raising awareness about the impacts of climate change and the threats to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The run commenced in Cooktown on Monday 2 November and continued south though the Wet Tropics. A team of 25 trained runners from emergency services commenced the relay over six thousand kilometres to link Australia's unique, world-renowned natural icons.

The relay will finish in Melbourne on St Kilda Beach.  At each major ecosystem, the runners are joined by scientists leading the research on the impacts of climate change. For more information please visit Safe Climate Australia and the Run for a Safe Climate.

Habitat restoration in Julatten-Mt Molloy

The Mitchell River Watershed Management Group has planted over 13,000 trees on 6.5 hectares of cleared land over 12 different properties. Individual projects have replanted rainforest on land previously used for grazing and sugarcane, restored the vegetation in riparian (stream bank) areas and fenced off wetland areas to exclude feral pigs. The aim was to make it easier for wildlife to move between protected areas by improving the connectivity between sections of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The group received a grant last year under the Caring for Our Country program. Grants worth a total of $80,000 were then awarded to landowners for revegetation. 

Kuranda Visitor Information Centre

WTMA’s network of Wet Tropics Visitor Centres have been busy raising funds for native wildlife charities in the Wet Tropics. The Kuranda Visitor Information Centre has raised over $650 in the last year for BatReach, a local wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre in Kuranda. The donation is going towards renovating the roofing on enclosures and will help to purchase medicine and food for the animals in care.



Cassowary Education

The Australian Rainforest Foundation has produced a cassowary education kit as a resource for school teachers. The kit aims to increase awareness about this endangered bird and will be sent to schools around Australia. If you would like a copy for your school, please contact the Australian Rainforest Foundation.


Protecting Quolls

The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is home to both the northern quoll and the endangered spotted-tailed quoll, whose distribution has significantly contracted over recent years. If you would like to learn more about protecting quolls in Queensland landscapes, then contact the Quoll Seekers Network to discover more about their new quoll information kit. The Quoll Seekers network has recently been named as the Queensland Wildlife Preservation Society's top project of the year.

Living in a Dynamic Tropical Forest Landscape

Prof Nigel Stork and Prof Steve Turton from James Cook University worked together to lead the Rainforest CRC for over ten years. They recently launched their new book titled 'Living in a Dynamic Tropical Forest Landscape'. The book, contains a vast collation of the diverse research that occurred under the Rainforest CRC.



Feral Deer in the Wet Tropics

WTMA, in partnership with Terrain NRM, FNQ Regional Organisation of Councils, Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, has funded the development of specially-designed deer traps to exclude other species. All species of feral deer are now listed as a pest species in Queensland and pose a significant threat to the Wet Tropics or Primary Industries and Fisheries website


University of Hanover

WTMA staff welcomed visiting biology students from the University of Hanover in Germany. The students visited the Authority to learn about the vegetation ecology and biogeography of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The visit is part of their final year to complete an undergraduate degree at the Institute of Geobotany.

t: 07 4052 0542 | f: 07 4031 1364
a: 1st Floor, 15 Lake Street, P O Box 2050, Cairns Q  4870
Visit our web site | email us here