26 September 2023

QPWS closes doors on outdoor areas

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The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) has announced the closure of a number of picnic areas, toilets, lookouts, popular walking tracks, swimming areas and four-wheel-drive beach recreation areas in National Parks across the State.

The move follows the closure of National Park campgrounds last week in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Leeanne Enoch said the targeted closures in QPWS-managed areas were necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19 and align with actions taken by other States and Territories.

“This is not a decision we have made lightly,” Ms Enoch said.

“We need to ensure the safety of Queenslanders during this time and this decision aligns with the expert medical advice from the State’s Chief Health Officer,” she said.

“We have carefully considered the number of people currently accessing National Parks and recreation areas and have taken the decision to close these specific areas which are still attracting a high number of people.”

She said some members of the community continued to ignore public health advice to stay at home and travel only when it was essential, and were journeying into national parks in substantial numbers.

“The Chief Health Officer has made a direction which bans outdoor activities of more than two people, or more than a household,” Ms Enoch said.

“Queensland Police now have the option to issue on-the-spot fines for breaches of the Chief Health Officer’s directions.”

She said increased signage would be in place to inform the public of closures, but locals should check Park Alerts online for the most up-to-date information.

The Park Alerts can be accessed on the Department of Environment and Science website at this PS News link.

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