Australia to honour Steve Irwin with nature park

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Australian Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Sunday that 135,000 hectares (1350 km², or 333,592 acres) of land near Weipa in the far north of Queensland, Australia will be turned in a wildlife reserve in honour of the late naturalist Steve Irwin. Prime Minister John Howard said the park was an important addition to Australia's national reserve system, and a fitting tribute to a passionate environmentalist and a great Australian.

The Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve will be a memorial managed by the Irwin family trust for environmental purposes to fulfill Irwin's vision to conserve and protect Australia's special environments by acquiring it and preserving it forever.

Steve Irwin died in September 2006 while filming an underwater television documentary series off Australia's north coast. He was stabbed in the chest by a sting ray barb while diving.