Call for halt on North Stradbroke Island economic transition strategy process

NORTH Stradbroke Island residents are calling for the state government to pause its economic transition strategy and do more consultation.

VIEW: The view from the site of the proposed whale watching interpretive centre at Point Lookout.

VIEW: The view from the site of the proposed whale watching interpretive centre at Point Lookout.

One Mile Residents Aboriginal Corporation chairman Dale Ruska said there should be a moratorium on projects like the whale interpretive facility.

“While acknowledging that sand mining will end in 2019, the island community says the state government should not rush implementation of the current ETS at the expense of ensuring the projects address the social and economic priority needs of the entire island community,” Mr Ruska said.

He said the North Stradbroke Island economic transition process had been non-inclusive and non-transparent.

“There has been no prior reliable independent assessment of or regard for the social and economic needs and priorities of the community,” Mr Ruska said.

His comments come as a petition calling for the whale interpretive centre to be moved off Point Lookout’s North Gorge headland was tabled in Parliament.

North Stradbroke Island resident Clara Durbidge said the petition – with 16,500 signatures – did not oppose the centre but asked for it not to be on the headland.

“Nearby alternative locations for the facility that would not impact on the state heritage-listed pristine headland, such as the decommissioned Point Lookout camping area and bus terminal, have been suggested,” she said.

Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson – who presented the petition to Parliament – called on the government to consult with all residents.

“It is important that we take all the necessary measures to protect the headland from any inappropriate scale or kind of development and to preserve it in its natural state for future generations to enjoy as much as we do, “ Mr Robinson said.

A spokesperson for Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the government was dealing on the issue with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation which was the Quandamooka people’s only official representative body. 

“QYAC’s governance and decision-making is based on the traditional decision making processes of the Quandamooka people that are recognised by the federal and state governments under the Native Title Act, and as such is representative of their views,” the spokesperson said.