Tropical savanna landscapes, rainforests and sand dunes on Queensland's Cape York are so pristine they meet standards for a World Heritage listing, scientists have found.

In a report to the federal government, an independent panel of scientists found seven attributes of the Cape which each meet at least one criteria for a heritage listing.

"Cape York Peninsula exhibits outstanding natural integrity in a global, regional and continental scale," the report said.

"This is one of the key overarching qualities that define the character of the entire region and links the focal attributes."

However, it will be up to local indigenous people to decide whether to nominate the Cape for World Heritage listing.

Some traditional owners, such as those who live near the ancient Quinkan Rock Art, want the heritage listing to go ahead, while others say it will restrict mining opportunities in the region.

It is expected that groups will make a decision by July.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke said any World Heritage nomination for the Cape would only be put forward with the consent of traditional owners.

"It's the right decision to put traditional owners at the centre of the process but that means the timelines belong to them not to me."

The Newman government doesn't want the Cape to be listed as a World Heritage area, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney told AAP on Tuesday.

"We believe the Queensland legislation adequately protects the environmental values of the Cape," he said.

It was announced this week that five firms had been shortlisted to develop a bauxite mine near the Cape York indigenous community of Aurukun.

Wilderness Society spokesman Gavan McFadzean said the report sent a clear message to the state government not to approve mining developments on the Cape.


Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.




If you have any questions or concerns please email us on


  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.