Newry Islands National Park amenities upgrade protects Reef

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) has invested $180,000 in upgrades to amenities in Newry Islands National Park off the coast of Mackay, protecting the Great Barrier Reef and culturally significant areas while ensuring a safe and comfortable experience for visitors.

The replacement amenities provide an improved waste management system for the popular campgrounds and day use areas on Newry and Rabbit Islands.

As Newry Islands National Park is situated within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, protecting the natural environment from waste is a key priority.

The works were delivered by regional supplier Dirtscapes Outdoor Developments who utilised local barge operators, machinery hire and material suppliers.

The QPWS worked closely with Yuwibara Traditional Owners through the Yuwi Aboriginal Corporation to provide a Cultural Heritage Induction to contractors and supervise work on the ground to ensure the area’s important cultural heritage was not impacted by the project.

The former pit toilets on Newry and Rabbit Islands have been replaced by vault toilets in new locations that would be easily serviced by barge.

By relocating the facilities, the impacts of tide and groundwater were reduced, preventing the pollution of the surrounding environment.

These ‘vault’ toilet systems address environmental concerns and were first constructed at campgrounds in Whitsunday Islands National Park in 2016.

As part of the Newry Islands National Park upgrades, the QPWS has improved upon the toilet design and used the latest features to support advancements in pump out systems.

Planning for the project began in March 2021 with the installations completed by 4 February 2022.

The project was funded by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and QPWS Field Management program.

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