Having discussed environmental concerns regarding the proposed camp sites for the Cooloola Great Walk directly with the Minister again last week, it was reiterated that the sites for the proposed camps are still undergoing environmental assessments and have NOT been finalised.

In response to our questions relating to the ectra allocation of funding for the Cooloola Great Walk, we have received the following information from the Office of the Minister for Tourism:

The Queensland Government and CABN are working collaboratively with local Traditional Owners the Kabi Kabi People to ensure their business development aspirations are considered; provide employment opportunities during construction and operation; and deliver unique cultural experiences as part of the ecotourism product.

The $2.2 million total budget now allocated for the Cooloola Great Walk project by the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport is operational funding, not capital funding for construction.

DTIS’ budget for the Cooloola Great Walk was increased through the 21/22 Budget due to delays to the project caused principally by COVID-19 but also negotiations for an ILUA with the Kabi Kabi people and commercial arrangements with the proponent taking longer than anticipated.

Operational funding includes items such as employee expenses, cultural heritage assessment costs, expenses associated with governance and advisory services incurred when collaborating with Traditional Owner groups, together with budget payable for the Indigenous Land Use Agreement.

It is also important to note, that this funding is not in any way ‘given’ to Noosa. It remains under the control of the Department of Tourism for the whole Cooloola Great Walk Project as above, which encompasses two state electorates, Noosa and Gympie.

For those with concerns relating to Native Title Claim and other indigenous matters in relation to this project, please refer to our previous update at https://www.sandybolton.com/cooloola-great-walk-update-5/

To contact the relevant Ministers direct:

Minister for Environment, Hon Meaghan Scanlon, environment@ministerial.qld.gov.au

Minister for Tourism, Hon Stirling Hinchliffe, tourism@ministerial.qld.gov.au

To contact the Gympie State MP:

Tony Perrett MP, gympie@parliament.qld.gov.au