MacDonnell park in doubt

Issue 

MacDonnell park in doubt

By Adriaan Anarco-Troika

ALICE SPRINGS — A planned world-class national park in the West MacDonnell Ranges is now in doubt.

Nan Smibert, coordinator of the Central Australian Conservation Council (CACC), said a 1989 plan endorsed by the CLP government identified a total of 170,000 hectares to be acquired for the establishment of a national park.

"Yet today less than half of that land is in the hands of the Conservation Commission and only a quarter is declared national park", Smibert said. The CACC has stressed in the past that with most land in Central Australia being pastoralist and Aboriginal land, little remains for use by the tourist industry. Inevitably, the industry turns to and heavily impacts on conservation reserves. As a result, the very thing tourists come to see is in danger of being destroyed.

"While the government shirks its duty in acquiring land for this park, it seems eager enough to commit huge amounts of taxpayers' money to provide infrastructure for a new private tourist development near Glen Helen. Tourists need housing, but they also need country to look at that has not been trampled and loved to death by thousands before them", Smibert said.

The CACC has called on the conservation minister, Mike Reed, to recognise that the environmental and economic future of Central Australia depends on the government reasserting its commitment to the establishment of a national park in the West MacDonnell Ranges.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.