Decision : CONF 003 IV.B.11
Wet Tropics of Queensland (Australia)
The Bureau was informed by the representative of the Government of Australia of proceedings instituted against it before the Federal Court by the Government of Queensland with respect to the protection of the site of the Wet Tropics of Queensland inscribed on the World Heritage List in December 1988. The judge of the Federal Court is called upon to examine the question whether the ban decided by the Federal Government on commercial forestry operations in the site can reasonably be regarded as appropriate and adapted to the objectives of protecting, conserving, enhancing and rehabilitating the Wet Tropics of Queensland (World Heritage site).
The Federal Government of Australia wishes that Mr. James Thorsell ofIUCN, who led the evaluation of the site upon which the Committee based its decision to inscribe this site on the World Heritage List, give scientific and technical advice on the question brought before the Court. The Bureau considered that IUCN has a consultative role with respect to natural World Heritage sites. It would be concerned if scientific advice from this body could be interpreted as implicating the Committee in a national legal proceeding.
In the event that IUCN decides to give such advice, the Bureau wished to affirm that this advice should not be interpreted as a mandate from the Committee to justify the inscription of the site on the World Heritage List.
Furthermore, the Bureau expressed its concern about maintaining the integrity of the site.