While some national and local governments would consider it a source of pride to have a site included in the World Heritage listing of UNESCO, local councils in Queensland are opposed to the inclusion of the state's Cape York in the roster.
The body of missing barge captain David Fordson was found in remote waters of Cape York, Queensland.
Environmentalists are behind the push to have Cape York listed to protect it from mining, but the local councils are questioning the federal government for heeding the call of green groups and rushing the listing despite lack of proper consultation.
Cape York is known for its wide and pristine landscapes rich in Aboriginal history and home of thousands of flora and fauna species. The area is also known for its rich deposit of bauxite.
The Wilderness Society warned that large mining firms such as Rio Tinto are pushing to industrialise Cape York and supported the call by traditional owners for environmental protection.
Rio Tinto founded the town of Weipa. Peter McCulkin, chairman of the Weipa Town Authority, agreed with a need to list some areas in Cape York with unique ecosystems such as Shelburne Bay, parts of McIlwraith Range and Iron Range.
However, federal Environment Minister Tony Burke pointed out that it is Cape York traditional owners and not local mayors who are the focus of a consultation process for the possible World Heritage listing.
"We have said all along that it is traditional owner consent that drives the process. If these mayors want to make it solely about their consent then they are dealing with the wrong government," AAP quoted Mr Burke.
While the local councils are blocking the listing, the Queensland state government supports Cape York's nomination, Mr Burke quoted a letter from Andrew Powell, Queensland's environment minister.
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