Consideration of Auditor General Report 12: 2022-23 - Growing Ecotourism in Queensland - TRANSFERRED

The Legislative Assembly referred this Auditor-General’s report to the former Economics and Governance Committee on 26 May 2023. On 13 February 2024, the Legislative Assembly amended Schedule 6 of the Standing Rules and Orders of the Legislative Assembly, and transferred this Auditor-General’s report to the Community Support and Services Committee for consideration. 


Role of the Auditor-General 

The role of the Auditor-General is to provide parliament with independent assurance of public sector accountability and performance. This is achieved through reporting to parliament on the results of its financial and performance audits and other insights.

About the Auditor-General Report


Auditor-General Report 12: 2022-23—Growing ecotourism in Queensland

The Auditor-General’s report to Parliament 12: 2022-23—Growing ecotourism in Queensland outlines the results of a Queensland Audit Office (QAO) performance audit examining whether the state’s tourism and environmental entities are effectively developing sustainable ecotourism in Queensland.

The audit focused on the activities of 3 key entities – the Department of Environment and Science, the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport, and Tourism and Events Queensland.

Key findings of the report include: 

  • While the state has an overarching tourism strategy which recognises the opportunity for Queensland to lead the world in sustainable tourism and ecotourism experiences, it has no specific actions for developing the ecotourism sector and no statewide policy or clear roadmaps for entities to achieve the state’s ecotourism vision.
  • Greater clarity of policy, definition and action is necessary for entities and the tourism industry to effectively plan and coordinate managing the difficult balance between conservation and ecotourism.
  • Until recently, the identification of ecotourism opportunities was reactive and unstructured, owing to the lack of an underpinning investment strategy to guide development priorities.
  • A Tourism Infrastructure Development Framework is being prepared, under which the state will identify and assess tourism infrastructure projects and initiatives. In conjunction with a statewide policy, this framework should provide more rigour and direction.
  • The Department of Environment and Science has a robust process for assessing and approving proposals in protected areas in accordance with environmental and legislative planning requirements, and subject to consultation with Traditional Owners. However, industry feedback is that the process is lengthy and complex, and often costly.
  • Greater government guidance and support would:
    • assist industry in making informed decisions
    • assist proponents in navigating the various legislative and approval processes and enhance their ability to partner with Traditional Owners.

In response to these findings, the report made 4 recommendations. 

Each of the audited entities has responded to confirm their support for the recommendations, including outlining relevant implementation actions. The entities’ responses were incorporated in an Appendix to the report. 

Referral to Committee 

Standing Order 194B provides that the Committee of the Legislative Assembly shall, as soon as practicable after a report of the Auditor-General is tabled in the Assembly, refer that report to the relevant portfolio committee(s) for consideration. 

The committee is responsible under section 94 of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 for assessing the integrity, economy, efficiency and effectiveness of government financial management by examining government financial documents and considering reports of the Auditor-General.



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