12 October 2022


Hon. MAJ SCANLON (Gaven—ALP) (Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef
and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs) (3.13 pm):

I take the time to thank all members for their participation in the debate on the Nature Conservation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 and of course acknowledge the committee for its work. I also acknowledge Jo Martin and representatives from the QBA here today. I acknowledge their advocacy in creating this bill. Of course, as has been said, it was an election commitment.

The passage of this bill will deliver on the commitment we made at the election to the beekeeping
industry to grant a 20-year extension for beekeeping in national parks. As stated by a number of people
already, to deliver this outcome the bill will amend the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to allow existing
beekeeping to continue beyond the current end date of 31 December 2024 to 31 December 2044.

I note that amendments circulated by the member for Bonney move to allow beekeeping in
national parks to occur indefinitely. The government does not support this amendment. The passing of
this bill will deliver on our commitment to enact what we think is a sensible 20-year extension to
beekeeping on national parks, recognising the comments made around the cardinal principle striking
what we think is a sensible balance between conservation but recognising that we need to also support
the beekeeping industry and provide some certainty.

I want to take the time to respond to some of the comments made in the House during the debate.
To be clear, this bill is not allowing beekeeping in new areas of existing national parks despite what the
member for Burleigh would like when he declared—

"In fact, I would take it a step … further and … let us let bees into our national parks in total."


I am a bit confused on what the LNP’s position actually is. Despite what the member for Burleigh
said, the member for Glass House agreed with those on this side of the House when he clarified by

"Let me be specific: we are not calling for the broader expansion of these … apiary sites ..."

There seems to be some inconsistency from those opposite about their position on beekeeping
in Queensland. Let me clarify again that this bill will only allow a continuation of beekeeping in locations
where it had previously been a recognised use before the land became national park. There were
comments about obviously the transfer of these areas under the South East Queensland Forestry
Agreement and the changes to national parks to protect more areas across our state.

Of course, the passage of this bill will be followed by the development of new regulations which
will prescribe apiary areas in specific national parks and a number of individual apiary sites associated
with each of these areas. This will also make clear the extent of the beekeeping activity that may occur
in each of the relevant national parks and will support the continued granting of those permits.

During the debate it was disappointing, though, to hear some of the comments from those
opposite in criticising our national parks and, as a consequence, some of the really hardworking QPWS
rangers who work within them.

Mr O’Connor interjected.

Ms SCANLON: I am happy to talk about management, member for Bonney. The member for
Nanango said that apiarists actually look after the national parks and were the ones actually doing the
hard work and that the worst neighbour in Queensland when it comes to national parks is the state
Labor government. The member for Scenic Rim doubled down on that saying—

"… portions of the estate are managed better than other portions of the estate because this activity is being carried out by people who have an interest in looking after that part of the estate."

Those comments of the members for Nanango and Scenic Rim and in fact a number of others
are pretty disrespectful to the 784 rangers employed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and
undermine the hard work that they do in parks across this state.

I can hear those opposite groaning and I remind the House that, when it comes to management—
particularly the member for Bonney—it was the former LNP government that cut 60 ranger positions in
its term of government in stark contrast to our Labor government that has actually increased
management funding for our national parks by 37 per cent compared to what it was under those
opposite. We have increased parks management funding by nearly $100 million since 2014.

I will stand up any day of the week on management of our protected area estate compared to
that of those opposite, never mind talking about all the other environmental destruction that happened
under their watch. This bill delivers on our election commitment and provides amendments that are
administrative in nature. In closing I acknowledge and thank all the staff from the Department of
Environment and Science, some of whom are here today, for their collaboration and work in progressing
this bill as well as my own staff for their efforts. I commend the bill to the House.