The State of Wet Tropics Report for 2014-2015 was tabled in the Queensland parliament last week with some good news about the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The report asserts that this natural global asset is worth at least a whopping $5.2 billion.
The Wet Tropics of Queensland was declared a World Heritage Area in 1988. The Area, along with the adjoining Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, makes north Queensland one of Australia’s premier international and domestic tourist attractions, visited by over five million local and international people annually.
The tabling of the Report in the State parliament by Minister Steven Miles follows the earlier tabling of the report to the Commonwealth parliament by Minister Greg Hunt.
As a major engine of the north Queensland economy the World Heritage Area makes a vital contribution to the prosperity of the region.
Apart from world heritage tourism generating at least $2.6 billion of economic value in the region, it is estimated that the value the community place on the natural values of the World Heritage Area is also worth at least $2.6 billion.
Wet Tropics Management Authority executive director Scott Buchanan said, “Research has shown us that tourists and visitors to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area consider the natural values of the region play an important role in their decision to visit.
Protection of the World Heritage Area makes good business sense, not only to support the tourism industry, but also to help attract and retain workers for other sectors by providing ‘quality of life, recreation and aesthetic experiences.” Mr Buchanan added.
“Communities living in and around the World Heritage Area play a significant role in maintaining this living museum that contains one of the most complete and diverse living records of the major stages in the evolution of land plants in the world.
“The Wet Tropics Management Authority is delighted that communities actively support and continue to maintain stewardship of the World Heritage Area as a way of ensuring that future generations will benefit from this valuable asset.” Mr Buchanan said
The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is an area of almost 900,000 hectares of tropical forests stretching from just north of Townsville to just south of Cooktown.
For more information about the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and to download the State of Wet Tropics Report go to www.wettropics.gov.au
For interviews and comments contact:
Mr Scott Buchanan, Executive Director, Wet Tropics Management Authority
P: 4241 0501 M: 0427 604 120 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
View the State of Wet Tropics Report here
View previous State of Wet Tropics Report here