It must also be acknowledged that many state’s have made great investments in their protected area systems out of their own budgets. On the previous Friday, on the day which marked the 100th anniversary of Queensland National Parks, Premier Anna Bligh announced that Queensland will increase its National Park estate by 50% by 2020 and the area under this protection will rise from almost 7.6 million hectares to around 12 million hectare covering the equivalent of almost two Tasmania's or the size of North Korea. The Premier said in this term the State Government had already allocated $65 million to buy more protected areas.
However much of the massive expansion will be paid for by an innovative - Australian-first - green fund, Eco Fund Queensland. The fund will be made up of biodiversity offsets from ‘unavoidable’ impacts of development and interestingly carbon offsets, especially those of government which will be directed into parks. This incidentally is a major area of interest for WCPA.