NATURAL WONDER: A view of the beautiful Moogerah Peaks National Park south of Ipswich.
NATURAL WONDER: A view of the beautiful Moogerah Peaks National Park south of Ipswich. Phil Rettke

Please keep cows out of our parks Campbell

I'D LIKE hunters, graziers and others who don't appreciate the amazing value of national parks to please stay out of them.

These pristine areas, covering less than a puny 5% of Queensland, are set up to protect wild plants, animals and landscapes.

That leaves plenty of space for shooting defenceless animals and feeding livestock.

The Queensland Government seems to have little understanding of national park principles.

It announced earlier this year that 13 national parks would be opened up for cattle grazing and that this program could be expanded.

In protest, the National Parks Association of Queensland called the move a "direct contradiction" of what national parks stand for.

NPAQ executive co-ordinator Paul Donatiu said 70% of Queenslanders had visited a national park in the past year.

"None of them came to see a cow," he stressed.

"The State Government recently gave the National Parks Association a clear commitment that grazing will not be allowed in national parks.

"NPAQ considers this action a complete breach of that commitment.

"These national parks and properties protect listed wetlands, river catchments, newly discovered species of plants and rare animals. Most of them have significant tourism potential and would support local regional economies."

Unbelievably, the LNP has said that grazing would deliver "improved conservation outcomes" for Queenslanders.

This is a flawed statement which contradicts its own government's "management principles" for national parks.

"The most important principle for managing national parks is to keep them in, as close as possible, their natural state without human interference," states the parks department.

Another principle is "to ensure that park use is nature-based and ecologically sustainable".

Can this State Government be trusted with areas that protect entire ecosystems; that are crucial to the supply of clean water and air?

Must we degrade and tarnish every inch of our land for commercial gain?

State governments across Australia are talking about using national parks for logging, grazing, mining, large-scale tourism developments and other destructive practices.

That's like God leasing the Garden of Eden to palm oil growers - the existing vegetation would be surplus to requirements.

Once a valuable environment like a national park is damaged, there's no fixing it.

Dismayed by state governments' intentions, activists have called on the Federal Government to safeguard national parks before it's too late.

Queensland Government figures show national parks attract 51 million visits from Australians and 7.9 million visits from international tourists each year.

Compared internationally, Queensland's national park coverage is way below par.

We should be protecting more land, not farming it out.


Australian TV, books show real pride in our culture

WOULDN'T it be great if most of the programs we saw on Australian TV were produced by Aussies, and a greater proportion of the books we read were penned in the Lucky Country?

Instead we ingest a steady diet of foreign-generated content, mainly from the US and the UK.

As a result, our vocabulary is peppered with copycat "dudes" and "buddies" instead of employing a unique Australian style.

By parroting the language of others, we're held back from putting a distinctive cultural stamp on our society.

We can and do demonstrate originality in writing and broadcasting, but it's overwhelmed by the avalanche of overseas-generated product.

An Australian Bureau of Statistics study has found that "news" accounts for almost half of all locally made television content in Australia.

Variety shows and drama series are far more expensive to produce, so the film industry needs additional support if we want to change the foreign/home-grown ratio to reflect Australia's cultural make-up.

We've shown that our TV dramas can be popular, entertaining and enduring.

Shows like The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Jack Irish, Rake and Redfern Now have won wide acclaim.

Soaps such as Neighbours, and Home and Away, are as popular overseas as they are in Australia.

Telling Aussie stories doesn't mean we have to shun overseas content; it's an indication of pride in our own culture.

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