Potential new World Heritage areas

There are a number of areas in Queensland which have been identified as potential new World Heritage properties subject to the consent of First Nations people and the support of the community:

There are also a number of proposed extensions to existing World Heritage properties which are currently on Australia’s tentative list:

  • Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area possibly including Bunya Mountains
  • K’gari (Fraser Island) World Heritage area (known as the Great Sandy proposal).

Cape York Peninsula

The exceptional cultural and natural values of Cape York Peninsula have been acknowledged for a long time. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) noted the region’s values as worthy of World Heritage listing in 1982.

The Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act 2007 improved the feasibility of World Heritage listing by resolving a number of issues with land tenure and management in the region.

In December 2015, the Meeting of Environment Ministers (MEM) agreed to explore the possibility of including Cape York on Australia’s World Heritage Tentative List—a list of places that may be nominated for World Heritage listing in future years.

An Agreed Statement was developed at the MEM.

For more information, see Frequently asked questions—Cape York Peninsula World Heritage project.

Bunya Mountains extension of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

In 2010, the Australian Government identified the Bunya Mountains National Park as a possible northern extension of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area and added it to Australia’s World Heritage Tentative List.

In addition to significant natural values, the unique Bunya Mountains landscape holds great cultural significance for First Nations people, including as the location of the bunya nut festival, an important cultural tradition.

Great Sandy extension of Fraser Island (K’gari) World Heritage area

In 2010, the Australian Government identified the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park as a possible extension to the Fraser Island (K’gari) World Heritage area and added it to Australia’s Tentative World Heritage list.

The Queensland Government has undertaken work to support a future nomination to extend the property and better recognise the area’s outstanding cultural and natural values.

The proposed extension would include the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park, the Great Sandy Strait, Wide Bay Military Reserve and Breaksea Spit.

For more information, see Frequently asked questions—extension to the Fraser Island World Heritage area.

World Heritage in partnership with First Nations

The Queensland Government is committed to working in partnership with First Nations peoples to manage and protect Country, including in World Heritage recognition and protection. How the Department of Environment and Science will deliver on this commitment is outlined in the Gurra Gurra Framework 2020-2026. We are currently developing an integrated strategy that focuses specifically on World Heritage areas, detailing how they are governed and managed, working with First Nations partners to protect their iconic natural and cultural values for future generations.

If you are interested in more information about these nominations, please email World.Heritage@des.qld.gov.au.