Queensland and National Parks

While most Queenslanders are opposed to government plans to rescind national park status over 875,000 ha of recently proclaimed parks that were state forest and grazing properties, most LNP voters support it.

It's not an election changer because while the opposition has the numbers it is corralled almost entirely in the ALP and Greens.

I was also interested in the result as in the days when the Liberal and National Parties were separate it was assumed that some of these issues would read differently in the country to the city, and if policies that kept country voters happy were implemented there would be an electoral cost in the cities.

That hypothesis tends to fail on these figures. 

Respondents were asked: "The Newman government is proposing to rescind National Park status from 875,000ha of state forest and former cattle stations recently gazetted as national parks and allow them to be used for forestry and grazing again. How strongly do you agree or disagree with this proposal?"

National_Parks Bob Katter's Australian Party Greens Labor Liberal National Party Grand Total
Strongly agree 52% 1% 1% 42% 21%
Agree 5% 0% 0% 26% 11%
Neither agree nor disagree 14% 0% 4% 15% 8%
Disagree 5% 7% 12% 4% 7%
Strongly disagree 24% 91% 83% 8% 51%
Unsure 0% 0% 0% 5% 2%
Grand Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Total agree 57% 1% 1% 68% 32%
Total disagree 29% 99% 95% 12% 58%
Net agree 29% -98% -94% 56% -26%

The Leximancer map shows the qualitative responses. In most cases it is not a case of one side saying "National Parks good" and the other saying "National Parks bad". On one side there is a concern with utilitarian issues such as preserving biodiversity, mixed with more aesthetic and cultural concerns such as preserving beauty and the past.

On the other, while there is certainly some concern that too much of the state is locked up, there is also a concern that Labor has exercised the politics of symbolism and declared national parks that the government can't afford to maintain. Other respondents think a range of uses ought to be able to occur in national parks and this might also help with their maintenance.

National Parks 12 07 27 500


THEME: parks

(parks, national, land, areas, park, grazing, National Parks, government, people, use, forestry, previous)

parks (Hits: 128)

Don't destroy our national parks.

national (Hits: 125)

First_Pref: liberal_national_party
National_Parks: agree

Perhaps someone will look after them now, National parks did not, thay only wanted to lock the gates

land (Hits: 92)

First_Pref: labor
National_Parks: strongly_disagree

Not enough national parks, just giving the land back to their cronies

areas (Hits: 58)

In South Africa game parks in many areas sustain local populations through co existence of local practices and tourism.

park (Hits: 33)

First_Pref: greens
National_Parks: strongly_disagree

Only 3.5% of Queensland is national park. That leaves an awful lot available for cows.

grazing (Hits: 38)

First_Pref: bob_katter's_australian_party
National_Parks: strongly_disagree

We should be decreasing our national grazing animals not increasing. There is no evidence to support this action other than old fashioned political philosophy

National Parks (Hits: 43)

First_Pref: liberal_national_party
National_Parks: strongly_agree

The weed and feral animal problem in our more remote National Parks is huge. Many parks are also just locked up with no access to anyone - Mt. Moffatt for example.

government (Hits: 31)

First_Pref: greens

National_Parks: strongly_disagree

This government know nothing about national parks and why they ae there. They see money.

people (Hits: 21)

When people drove over this they dug a trench as well. All this as they had no ability to look after the park.

use (Hits: 21)

First_Pref: liberal_national_party
National_Parks: agree

If we continue to create and maintain National parks there maybe a time when all of Australia is National park and we will have to pay to traverse or use Australia much like we do now in most gazzetted parks

forestry (Hits: 19)

First_Pref: liberal_national_party
National_Parks: agree

We have enough national parks. We need forestry and agriculture too.

previous (Hits: 18)

First_Pref: bob_katter's_australian_party
National_Parks: strongly_agree

These putative national parks were part of the Bligh-greenies plan to lock up vast areas of Queensland to prevent economic development. Much of these areas were already degraded due to previous activities.

THEME: environment

(environment, protected, future, LNP)

environment (Hits: 30)

First_Pref: greens
National_Parks: strongly_disagree

Scientific evidence is clear on this issue. Cattle grazing causes immense erosion problems. We only have one environment; we need to look after it.

protected (Hits: 20)

First_Pref: labor
National_Parks: strongly_disagree

vegetation needs to be protected and/or increased for future generations. Trees & vegetation are necessary for the well being of the environment

future (Hits: 27)

They selfishly disregard the science that future generations wellbeing will be impacted by the loss of ecological services from the environment.

LNP (Hits: 21)

First_Pref: greens
National_Parks: strongly_disagree

Short sited and knee jerk reaction by the LNP govt. Indicates the priority they place on the environment.

THEME: natural

(natural, preserve, Queensland, National, status, environmental, decision)

natural (Hits: 28)

First_Pref: liberal_national_party
National_Parks: neither_agree_nor_disagree

We need a balance between conserving worthwhile natural assets and economic development, I haven't looked at this closely enough to see if the LNP has the balance right; but I thought the ALP was biased towards theGreen end of the spectrum, so the roll-back might well be justified.

preserve (Hits: 22)

First_Pref: liberal_national_party
National_Parks: strongly_agree

Whilst I believe we should preserve our natural heritage the green-dominated ALP has gone too far. It is possible to be successful stewards of our resources.

Queensland (Hits: 23)

First_Pref: greens
National_Parks: strongly_disagree

Queensland has very little of its natural habitat left, and some of unique flora and fauna is already critically endangered. Why sacrifice more to low value industries which would require additional water to be sustainable, while rampant development is encouraged wherever economic.

National (Hits: 18)

This is inconsistent with my concept of a National and natural park system.

status (Hits: 18)

First_Pref: greens
National_Parks: strongly_disagree

National Parks, as the name implies, have natural values that belong to all Australians. How can one state decide to rescind this status?

environmental (Hits: 18)

First_Pref: greens
National_Parks: strongly_disagree


We need every national park we have. the land must be protected and managed for it's natural environmental and conservation values.

decision (Hits: 22)

Its a good decision.

THEME: weeds

weeds (Hits: 15)

First_Pref: liberal_national_party
National_Parks: strongly_agree

We have more National Parks than we can care for. They are getting infested with weeds and vermin.

THEME: cattle


cattle (Hits: 16)

First_Pref: greens
National_Parks: disagree

Would they be doing this if there wasn't free reign by coal companies to walk onto current cattle properties and mine for coal seam gas?

THEME: forest


forest (Hits: 13)

First_Pref: bob_katter's_australian_party
National_Parks: disagree

I think should keep 875,oooha as state forest.

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+3 #1 RE: Queensland and National ParksRay Boulton 2012-07-31 16:08
Well if LNP voters support it why ask the question 78% of Qld. are LNP supporters the rest of us do not count. Wonder when the shooyers will get in there just as NSW did no one will be game to go into the parks for the fear of being shot :lol: :lol: :lol:
+2 #2 RE: Queensland and National ParksGraham Young 2012-08-05 19:07
Well if we hadn't asked we wouldn't know that Ray. Surely it is vital information to have?
+2 #3 Sustainable National ParksDallas Beaufort 2012-08-07 01:19
Grazing is better management of grass and fuel loads which is proven to do more damage, remember the bush fires ? Oh not may do as it wasn't on TV in the last 3 months. Any way, Labor and their Greens love to preach parks only to lock them up from the people they pretend to purchase them for in the first place the public.
+1 #4 MsAnna Bridle 2012-08-14 23:20
It is wickedly misleading to claim that National Parks are "locked up". Unless a national park is classified "scientific" because of exceptional natural values, all national parks are open to everyone and millions visit each year. People need to realise that less than 5% of Queensland is devoted to the national park estate, far less than any other state. Less than 5% of this state is set aside to accommodate the cardinal principle of national parks eg “A national park is to be managed to—(a) provide, to the greatest possible extent, for the permanent preservation of the area’s natural condition and the protection of the area’s cultural resources and values;”. The changes proposed will introduce activities previously not allowed because they are inimical and contrary to that cardinal principle, and will require better management and maintenance and therefore cost more than ever before to offset the impacts of these changes. We can't replace biodiversity. Once gone it is gone forever.
0 #5 MrDieter Weiss 2012-08-17 18:28
I must disagree with some of the comments by #4 contributor. I was part of the construction team that developed the early infrastructure of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory and have witnessed first hand the gradual reduction of place to visit within the park. It is certainly fair to say that 95% of Kakadu is off limits to the average visitor. Unless you have connections within the hierarchy controlling the park or friends in the traditional owners community, you will never see the real beauty or biodiversity of National Park. I had the privilege to go exploring with some indigenous friends inside Kakadu and will forever remember these trips. Of all the National Parks that I have visited in Australia, by far the most user-friendly was Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory. There one is able to experience in a much smaller area more of the diversity of the Top End than elsewhere.Visit ors are encouraged to explore with care and respect nature itself.