World Heritage for Cape York
Until October 2012, both the Queensland State Government and the Federal Government had committed to World Heritage listing for Cape York Peninsula. However the State Government then returned left over funds from the World Heritage consultation process to the Commonwealth, who are now running their own nomination process for Cape York. See http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/about/world/cape-york/nomination.html
In mid 2007 the Queensland Government set up the path to World Heritage listing of Cape York with the creation of the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act. The Act resolved a number of issues around conservation and appropriate development of Cape York.
At the 2007 Federal election, the Rudd Labor Government promised to: “work with the Queensland Government and traditional owners to pursue World Heritage listing for appropriate areas of Cape York, recognising the importance of Commonwealth leadership and the consent of traditional owners.”
Why World Heritage?
The World Heritage Convention is an international agreement, ratified by the United Nations which aims to identify and protect the best places on earth.
Created in 1972 the list includes 830 places including things as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China and the glaciers of Alaska.
Cape York should be on this list. It is one of the last great wild places on earth. In 1982 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the body which advises the World Heritage bureau on World Heritage nominations, produced a list of the 219 natural sites worldwide deserving World Heritage protection. Reflecting the richness of Australia’s natural beauty and heritage 13 sites were identified in Australia including Cape York. More than 25 years later, our opportunity to give Cape York the world’s highest recognition and protection is now.