The Australian Conservation Foundation’s executive director Don Henry has called for the Federal Government to take a more direct interest in conservation and management in the Cape York Peninsula.


Mr Henry congratulated the Queensland Government and Indigenous Traditional Owners at the signing of an agreement to jointly manage and protect the culturally and environmentally significant Iron Range National Park and called on the Federal Government to be more engaged on the Cape.

“Iron Range is one of the largest areas of low-lying tropical rain forest left on the Cape and today we call on the Federal Government to be more active in supporting voluntary land hand backs to Traditional Owners to protect Cape York’s superb natural and cultural values,” Mr Henry said.

The agreement signed today provides a shared decision-making framework for the government and the Traditional Owners to determine the management of the park.

The Iron Range National Park, 750 kilometres north of Cairns, covers 47,000 hectares and is renowned as one of the largest remaining low-lying rainforest areas on the Cape.

It is an internationally renowned bird watching area, known for species including the eclectus parrot and the Palm Cockatoo.

“Today’s signing protects this internationally significant area and recognises Traditional Owners’ experience and expertise in land management,” said ACF’s Cape York Program Officer Leah Talbot.

“There is also a need for the Federal Government to educate people about what World Heritage listing could mean for Cape York, but ACF emphasises that World Heritage listing should only proceed with the consent of Traditional Owners,” she said.