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Queensland rally competitors are being asked to sign a petition to try and keep thousands of acres of forest available for public use. The petition, published on the Queensland Parliament website, highlights the proposed changes of status of Queensland state forests into National Parks, most recently thousands of hectares of forest in the Wide Bay Region from 2026. "These declarations threaten both commercial and recreational use of this publicly owned land, precluding continued use of the forests by both commercial users such as the timber and grazing industry, as well as current and prospective recreational users such as four-wheel drivers, trail bike riders, fishers, bush campers, fossickers and hunters," it states. "Changing the forests into National Parks undermines the intent of the Forestry Act 1959, specifically the cardinal principle of management of state forests. This principle states that Queensland state forests are intended to be permanent timber reserves, with the government being required to have regard their usage for grazing, recreation and conservation. In contrast national parks legislation prioritises conservation over all other uses. "Queensland has over eight million hectares of national parks, making it entirely reasonable that our three million hectares of state forest be kept for commercial and recreational use by Queenslanders. Your petitioners therefore request the House to ensure that: 1. All planned changes of Queensland state forests into national parks be cancelled. 2. Management of Queensland state forests be shifted from the Department of Environment and Science into a new agency, that is dedicated to maximising commercial and recreational use of state forests while having regard to conservation opportunities, for the benefit of all Queenslanders." The petition can be signed HERE.
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