Communities and other interest groups on Queensland’s Cape York have been given more time to decide how they want land on the peninsula used.
Wild rivers on Queensland’s Cape York will now be protected under a state government plan.
Changes to the draft Cape York Regional Plan extend protections to the Wenlock, Lockhart, Archer and Stewart river basins.
They fall under the Wild Rivers Act, which will be replaced by the regional plan from June.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says changes to the plan give communities more time to decide how the rest of the land on Cape York will be used.
The state government will speak to communities yearly and decisions on future land use will be made on a case-by-case basis.
“There will be an evolution of the plan as we go forward,” Mr Seeney told reporters in Cairns on Wednesday.
“It’s a very different outcome to what was originally proposed but we’ve listened to the local communities.”
Town plans will determine most development on the cape, while the regional plan will control all other land use.
The changes were made after developers, traditional owners and green groups raised concerns about how land use was set out in the draft report.
Some traditional owners and mayors said they weren’t consulted and were concerned that culturally sensitive areas wouldn’t be protected.
Cape York traditional owner Desmond Tayley was pleased consultation over land use had been extended.
“That’s what we wanted from day one,” Mr Tayley told AAP.
Gerhardt Pearson, director of the Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation, was also pleased with the changes, saying they would open up areas for development.
The Wilderness Society said Mr Seeney had come to his senses by allowing more time to consult with traditional owners.
The Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in western Cape York is also protected under the plan.