Today, 33 United Nations Environment Program Global 500 Laureates (elected to the UNEP Global 500 Roll of Honour in recognition of outstanding practical achievement in the protection of the environment) delivered Prime Minister Gillard a letter urging her not to abandon national environmental protection and devolve powers to state and territory Governments.
The Health and Community Services Committee is examining the Nature Conservation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012. The committee is required to report to the Parliament by 7 February 2013.
The Bill amends the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to enable privately operated ecotourism facilities to be authorised in national parks. Ecotourism facilities could also be authorised in national parks (recovery), indigenous joint management areas, and in national parks (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal land). Occupation permits under the Forestry Act 1959 would be amended by the Bill to remove the current maximum term for an occupation permit of 7 years and the maximum area limit of 10 hectares. The Bill also repeals the Brisbane Forest Park Act 1977.