OPINION

My beautiful, ancient office is slowly dying

I work in a very special and very fragile office. It's called the Mount Barney National Park and I have been guiding people to the top of Queensland's most spectacular peak for many years.

No day is ever dull. And I still feel the same passion for this place that I have always done.

But as I write I am recovering from a torrid four weeks of bushfire preparation, heightened alertness, serious fire action and processing the impact of the single largest fire that I have ever experienced.

Mount Barney National Park has been nearly entirely burnt. Scenic Rim Regional Council area, which contains this park, is an ancient landscape showcasing world-class biodiversity, a high number of rare and unique endemic species, as well as awesome mountainous features that help explain the geological history of Australia.

Only 90 minutes from Brisbane, it should be an easy sell as a tourism destination. And it was, until it started to die, or burn, or the national parks on which we base our business closed around us.

As a member of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia advisory committee of which Mount Barney National Park is a part, we provide advice to the federal government. This year we wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Environment Minister Sussan Ley, advising them that: "Climate action is needed if Australia is to continue to deliver on the brand promise of these World Heritage areas. What is being done, and has been done, is simply not enough to transmit the obligations for our World Heritage properties."

The national parks are closed for good reasons ... they are unsafe. In Mount Barney National Park alone, a lightning strike started a fire on October 17, burnt for six weeks and is still causing concern.

Last week, the Australian Defence Force was drafted to help with reopening the park, as the efforts of emergency personnel, parks staff and police along with Scenic Rim Regional Council have been exhausting in saving my lodge, and countless other homes and properties but the park itself has suffered.

World class reefs, pristine rainforests and our current lifestyle are not compatible with the projections of our climate future.

Instead of focusing on enjoying the best job in the world, I am putting my energy towards pressuring a government to do their job - act on the climate crisis - so I can go back to doing my job of guiding people into one of the world's most beautiful places.

Innes Larkin is an avid climber and owner of Mount Barney Lodge, in the Scenic Rim, with his wife Tracey.