The Riversleigh World Heritage Site is in good hands with the Riversleigh Community and Scientific Advisory Committee, which is committed to championing for the future of the site, Mayor Joyce McCulloch says.
The Committee comprises 11 members – of which Councillor Peta MacRae is one – and an independent chairman.
Between them, they cover fields of expertise including paleontology, zoology, geoscience and archaeology, with representation from Local Government, the tourism sector as well as Waanyi Traditional Owners.
Cr McCulloch, who is also a former RCSAC member, says the Committee’s main role is to provide advice to the Federal and Queensland Governments on matters relating to the protection, conservation, presentation and management of the internationally-recognised Riversleigh World Heritage Site.
“As well as to provide information to members of the public to foster interest in, and improve people’s awareness and understanding of, the site,” Cr McCulloch said.
“Riversleigh is an amazing area and Australia’s most famous fossil site. It’s part of the Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, which in itself is a significant tourist attraction for our region.”
“The need to protect and conserve the area, as well as inform others about its importance, particularly in terms of its natural beauty and cultural and scientific significance, cannot be overstated.
“It’s one of the richest sites of ancient mammalian fossils in Australia, and palaeo-tourism is a sector that’s growing in popularity.
“Extensive fossil digging first began at Riversleigh in 1976, and in that time more than 60 species of long-extinct mammals – including 35 species of bat – 16 species of bird, almost 20 different types of reptiles and even several different frog species have been discovered there.
Riversleigh is an amazing area and Australia’s most famous fossil site. It’s part of the Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, which in itself is a significant tourist attraction for our region.Mount Isa Mayor Joyce McCulloch
“These discoveries have significantly expanded the scientific knowledge and understanding of how animals evolved in Australia.”
Cr MacRae said Riversleigh was of immense importance to Australia and the world of paleontology and science as a whole, and the committee was committed to its preservation and promotion.
The Committee’s projects have included the installation of better road signage on the way to Riversleigh, the “Science in the Pub” event co-presented by RCSAC member Professor Michael Archer in Cairns last year, a proposed Outback Queensland Dinosaurs – Paleo Tourism Opportunities to 2020 program, improving the effectiveness of the Riversleigh fossil database, working with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to boost public awareness of Riversleigh and its Outstanding Universal Value classification, and opening the “Bitesantennary Valley” area of Riversleigh to improve education opportunities.