Changes to prevent national park compensation payouts
A BILL to prevent injury payouts from risky behaviour, such as the one involving an Irish tourist who broke his neck running down a Fraser Island sand dune, will be put to Parliament.
The State Government wants to give itself immunity from civil liability when people disregard warnings.
More than $2 million in compensation has been paid in the past 20 years, and more than 20 claims have been made against the state for incidents on land managed by the Queensland Parksd and Wildlife Service since 1986.
Irish tourist Evan Joseph Kelly broke his neck and became a tetraplegic after running down a sand dune at Lake Wabby in 2007.
He sued the government for breaching its duty of care and won his case in the Supreme Court in May.
Mr Kelly was trying to run into the water from the sand dune when he lost his footing in the sand and fell head-first.
Despite the presence of two signs warning not to run on the dunes or dive into the water, Justice Duncan McMeekin decided the State Government had not done enough to avoid legal responsibility for the incident.
National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said the proposed changes would protect the state from those who chose to engage in risky behaviour, despite signs and other safety measures.
"Queenslanders should not have to pay for the risky and reckless few that ignore signs and disregard warnings," he said.
"We want to ensure the safety of park visitors is paramount."
The state would continue to be liable for issues resulting from faulty park maintenance.