22nd May 2014

The National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ) is very concerned about the impact on wildlife of a zip-line proposed for Obi Obi Gorge in Kondalilla National Park near Maleny.

Paul Donatiu, Executive Coordinator with NPAQ said that “This Government is ignoring its duty of care to conserve rare species in our National Parks, including koalas, in the name of adrenalin tourism.”

All the large emergent trees that could support a zip-line over Obi Obi Gorge are koala habitat trees.The alternative of building dedicated steel platforms to suspend the zip-line would necessitate more damage to a very unique landscape in a special National Park.The clearing of vegetation to hang cables between platforms would further damage habitat for two listed rare bird species that are found in the Park.

Mr Donatiu said that “Opening up the forest canopy for the zip-line will allow established weeds, such as Lantana, to spread further in the National Park.In addition, the proposed zip-line will cross the main bushwalking path near the Gorge, be visible from certain vantage points (for which park visitors are predominantly drawn to the park), therefore both the sound of the zip-line itself and that of the patrons using it will only serve to detract from National Park experience for the majority of visitors.”

Mr Donatiu also said that “A key aspect of ecotourism is that the tourism activity leads, or adds to the conservation of the ecosystem in which it operates.The inclusion of an environmental educational component in the proposed zip-line will do little for the National Park itself, particularly as research overseas shows a strong indication that tour guests are impatient for the thrill of the ride.In this instance, the zip-line will benefit from the National Park environment, but the Park will not benefit from the zip-line.Rather, it will be heavily impacted by it.”

No other zip-line in Australia is found in a National Park.