World Habitat Day
Today is World Habitat Day – a great day to celebrate Queensland’s biodiversity.
It’s also a great day to acknowledge the people who have worked together over the years to conserve our natural heritage, including many of Queensland’s Governors.
In 1896, Lord Lamington, Queensland’s 8th Governor, inspired by a paper presented at the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, visited the McPherson Range and returned convinced of the need to conserve this extraordinary ecosystem. In 1915, Lamington National Park was declared. Today it is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.
Governor Nathan was a passionate advocate for a science-based approach to the management of the Great Barrier Reef. In September 1922, with Professor Henry Richard of The University of Queensland, he formed the Great Barrier Reef Committee, and helped build a membership which included representatives of universities and museums.
Image: Governor Nathan on a visit to the Great Barrier Reef in 1923 (courtesy of the State Library of Queensland)
Governor Goodwin threw his support behind the establishment of the National Parks Association of Queensland in 1930, saying “I think every possible effort should be made to preserve the parks and the flora and fauna of this country.”
The Fernberg estate – the official residence of Queensland Governors since 1910 – is itself an important natural habitat for flora and fauna, and its 10 hectares of remnant Australian bushland is one of the last remaining untouched pockets close to Brisbane CBD. The current Governor is Patron of the Keep Australia Beautiful Council (Queensland), the National Trust of Queensland and the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland and has visited World Heritage listed Fraser Island to support and encourage those who protect this fragile and precious heritage place. The Governor has also travelled to parts of the Great Barrier Reef and received briefing on the Reef’s management by State and federal authorities and marine institutes.
Image: Current Governor, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Mrs Kaye de Jersey and representatives from organisations helping to conserve Fraser Island.