by jessica bahr
THE Sunshine Coast is home to some of the state's most impressive natural wonders, and LNP leader Deb Frecklington is on a mission to utilise them as tourist attractions.
On a visit to Coolum last week, Ms Frecklington called on the Palaszczuk government to open up national parks and nature reserves.
"This is one of the nicest parts of the world, let alone Queensland,” she said.
"We are surrounded here by all these beautiful national parks... wouldn't it be wonderful if we could actually utilise them and enjoy them?
"So let's start up eco-tourism in Queensland, that's what we can do to improve the tourism industry here in Queensland.”
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts Leanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk government was leading the delivery of ecotourism facilities through the Queensland Ecotourism Plan 2016-2020 and the Ecotourism Facilities on National Parks Implementation Framework.
"In 2016, changes to the Nature Conservation Act 1992 allowed for the development of privately owned, low impact, purpose-built ecotourism infrastructure on national parks,” she said.
"The Act ensures all approved ecotourism facilities are in the public interest, are ecologically sustainable, and will help preserve and protect the land's cultural resources and values.
"An integral part of our plan to make Queensland Australia's tourism capital has always been to develop new attractions.
"That's why we hired the best in the business months ago, new Tourism and Events Queensland Chairman Brett Godfrey, to unlock our natural assets, and we're providing $36 million in grants to tourism operators to develop new attractions in Queensland.”