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Date posted: 11 July 2012
The Queensland Government says it has started consulting Indigenous groups over its plans to repeal Wild Rivers declarations on Cape York.
Environment Minister Andrew Powell travelled to Cairns last week to meet traditional owners, environmentalists, and tourism and mining industry representatives about the State Government's proposed Cape York bioregion management plan.
The plan would reverse the Wild Rivers declarations made across the Cape by the previous government, which constrained major development near affected river basins. Mr Powell said the plan would allow economic development in remote Indigenous communities, as well as providing environmental protection.
'We want to meet people face to face and get constructive feedback on where they see economic opportunities and which areas they believe need protection,' he said.
The Government is yet to announce whether Wild Rivers declarations in Western Queensland and the Gulf Country will be wound back.
Conservation group The Wilderness Society has said the changes could lead to widespread environmental damage and weaken protection for some of the state's most beautiful rivers.
Mr Powell said he would also use the visit to begin consultation on the proposal for a Cape York World Heritage Area.