PUBLIC USE OF STATE FORESTS TO BE MANAGED NOT RESTRICTED

Recent announcements by the Environment Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr and the Primary Industries Minister Tim Mulherin, that State Forests will soon be open to all recreational use as permit requirements relax, verifies verbal advice received by the Jimna Fire Tower Action Group (JFTAG) some weeks ago, that previously locked roads and closed beauty spots are under review, and that public use should be managed not restricted. Under the new policy, specific- area uses would include four-wheel driving, riding, bushwalking and cycling, with signs to be erected in coming weeks advising of the revised arrangements. It was also announced that people conducting commercial or group events in the 3.4 million hectares of state and plantation forest, would still need permission.

The completion of a new suspension bridge across Yabba Creek, the repairs to a walking track viewing platform, and the upgrading of maintenance work at the Peach Trees Camping Grounds, along with a proposal by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) to extend existing walking tracks some four kilometres into Jimna, are all positive signs that the State Government is genuine in it’s long overdue and invigorating commitment to the development of tourism in the Jimna area.

GOOD NEWS FOR JIMNA FIRE TOWER IMMINENT. If persistent rumours hold any semblance of credence, then the Forestry Plantations Queensland (FPQ) structural assessment and future ownership recommendations for the Jimna Fire Tower should be made public shortly. Given the tremendous support demonstrated by all tourism stakeholders and the general community, it has become totally inconceivable that future tourism plans for South East Queensland would not include the hugely popular Jimna Fire Tower, and that all levels of government have a duty of care to preserve this heritage listed, historically significant, icon.

Future public awareness promotions include the next BIG WALK FOR JIMNA FIRE TOWER Queens Birthday Weekend Sunday 10th June 07,and the BIG CAMP OUT FOR JIMNA FIRE TOWER weekend of the 28th 29th and 30th Sept 07.

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