Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 August 1990)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 16 August 1990 I hope that, when he comes back from wherever he is, the member for Wanguri will realise that we can and do manage our parks even in the absence of plans of management. Strategic planning processes are in place. These have been there for many years and they have been spoken about in this House on many occasions. We have a most interesting geographical information system which enables the operation of a Mapnet model in the Northern Territory. It is mapping the biological resources of the Northern Territory excellently. A recent article in a Melbourne newspaper praised the exciting work that is being done in the Territory and the computer modelling of data to draw the plan of the West MacDonnells National Park. That is occurring right throughout the Territory. Another old chestnut that is floated by those who seek to denigrate the work of the government and the Conservation Commission is how small an area we have covered by national parks. That is probably true. Before Tuesday of this week, we had only 212 881 ha in national parks under the control of the Northern Territory plus another 229 000 ha as a marine park at Cobourg. We have now added.a further 1 104 340 ha to that national park estate.- Of course, that is nowhere near the area of land that we have under the care and control of the commission. In fact, some 86 areas, covering 4 242 065 ha or over 3% of the total land mass of the Northern Territory, are under the care and control of the Conservation Commission and the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service. The areas that are not yet declared as national parks include: Alligator Lagoon, Black Jungle, Lambells Lagoon, Cape Hotham Forestry Reserve, Casuarina Coastal Reserve, Daly River, Dulcie Ranges, Gosse Bluff, Junction Reserve, Keep River extensions, Litchfield Park, Marrakai Flora and Fauna Reserve, the Mary River crossing, the Mary River Conservation Reserve, Malacca Swamp, 00100 Crossing, Point Stuart, Rainbow Valley, Shady Camp, Swim Creek, Tennant Creek Telegraph Station, Upper Litchfield Park, the West MacDonnells and the Wildman River. These are quite extensive areas of the Territory that will eventually be formally declared as parks. Quite clearly, we have very wide-ranging development of parks in the Territory. This will continue. As I announced recently, Cabinet has approved the development of a new park in the Murchison and Davenport Ranges area, east of the Devil's Marbles and south-east of Tennant Creek. We wi 11 create a magni fi cent park in that range. It will be a major feature of our park network. The Gulf region has revealed areas which will be brought under park management and, in some cases, be set aside for recreational and other uses. However, these will be under the control of the Conservation Commission. In addition, we are negotiating with Aboriginal people ;n east Arnhem Land in relation to 1 or 2 potential national parks in that area. Amendments to the Territory Parks and Wil dl i fe Conservati on Act that were passed in May wi 11 enable us to estab 1 ish nat i ona 1 parks over areas that are 1 eased. That enables us now to look at the proposal of hav i ng national parks developed under our act on Aboriginal land in a similar way to Uluru, Kakadu, Nitmiluk and Gurig National Parks without the need to have completely separate legislation. My final point is that something almost unrelated seems to have attracted everybody's attention. It is an incident that occurred in respect of the Victoria River. Though it is a miniscule incident compared to the overall significance of the opening of this park, a park 50% of the size of Kakadu Nat i ona 1 Park, nonetheless, it is a matter that needs to be dealt with. I refer to the development of some earthworks and the damming of part 9924
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