World Heritage listing for North Stradbroke, Moreton islands gets $1.3 million boost in Queensland budget

HERITAGE LISTING: A process is under way to nominate North Stradbroke Island as a World Heritage Area. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough
HERITAGE LISTING: A process is under way to nominate North Stradbroke Island as a World Heritage Area. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

THE state government has budgeted $1.3 million to develop the nomination of North Stradbroke and Moreton islands as a World Heritage Area.

If successful, the area would become Queensland's sixth World Heritage-listed natural wonder.

In state budget papers tabled this week, Treasurer Jackie Trad said the $1.3 million would be allocated over four years.

She said the nomination would enhance ecotourism opportunities and preserve environmental values.

QYAC chief executive officer Cameron Costello said the proposed area for listing was 3200 square kilometres covering North Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island and Moreton Bay.

The process to nominate for a World Heritage listing had started in 2017.

Mr Costello said that it was uncommon for a listing process to be led by traditional owners.

He said Fraser Island was an example of the tourism benefits of becoming a World Heritage site.

QYAC was recruiting a Quandamooka world heritage officer.

PROPOSAL: QYAC is leading the process to nominate North Stradbroke and Moreton islands as part of a World Heritage Area. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

PROPOSAL: QYAC is leading the process to nominate North Stradbroke and Moreton islands as part of a World Heritage Area. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

The officer would drive forward the process with the intent that the state government would put forward the nomination to the federal government for consideration early next year.

"We will meet with industry groups as part of the process of assessing cultural and natural value to see if we meet the criteria," Mr Costello said.

Mr Costello said QYAC had been advised to submit a nomination that was focused on the island's cultural and natural values.

UNESCO requires sites to be of outstanding universal value and meeting at least one of 10 criteria to be included on the World Heritage List.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the government would spend $3.2 million over the next two years to create tourism jobs for Indigenous Queenslanders to position Queensland as the nation's leader in Indigenous tourism.

"There's more demand than ever before for authentic cultural experiences," Ms Jones said.

"Around $2 million will be used to support the development of new Indigenous tourism products and experiences with a focus on ecotourism."

Almost $300,000 would be spent on an Indigenous Tourism Development Service that would help Indigenous tourism businesses access government and industry services.

Ms Jones said the $25 billion tourism industry was the state's third largest export earner, supporting 217,000 Queensland jobs.

"Queensland's tourism industry is booming," she said.

"For the first time in a decade, our share of the visitor market is growing faster than NSW and Victoria."