The situation appears to highlight how negligent our state is on matters of World Heritage. In our seemingly insecure and uncertain country that is constantly seeking the praise of others from overseas so as to be confirmed as 'world class,' (“What do you think of us?”), it cannot be believed that our World Heritage area at Springbrook that is ‘world class’ is simply ignored, treated as a tourist destination like all others on the Gold Coast. The words ‘World Heritage’ become just another piece of promotional jargon, a mere commercial lure. Understanding the reasons for the rest of the world thinking that this place is so important, (for its biodiversity, not its picturesque landscape), leaves one flabbergasted that it can be so demeaned by politicians and journalists, and treated in such a sceptical and careless manner. We need to learn how other countries take pride in their World Heritage listings, how they look after their World Heritage listed places. The obligations imposed on the Federal and State government with such listings are regularly forgotten. This, of course, assumes that they were once known and understood. The Courier-Mail rarely mentions this serious failure; only opportunities for ‘eco’-commerce and ‘eco’-profit seem to loom large and are promoted in a confused way.
Our World Heritage needs care and protection. This will make us ‘world class.’ The buy-back was one great step towards ensuring that the highly fragmented Springbrook National Park might have a future by growing again in the same manner as it has done little by little over the years since it was first declared. At last, one thought, these unique regions might be buffered from the impacts of the cliché greed and ignorance of rapacious development that have impacts that are just too real; but alas, in spite of the rest of the world, Springbrook still seems to be at risk. Will it join the Great Barrier Reef on the endangered list? One should only have praise for what the previous government and the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society and others have done and are doing for this very special World Heritage place. The rest of the world is watching us. We must start taking our obligations much more seriously and stop making a mockery of our special places as an excuse to neglect them, for by holding them in such disregard we only make fools of ourselves.
THIS IS THE ARTICLE THAT PROMPTED THE RESPONSE ABOVE:
$1 million of spending could not be accounted for between government departments..