Moonbi 136, World Heritage History and What is Wilderness

Moonbi 136

Since MOONBI 135

FIDO continues to run a busy program of engagement with the community, with traditional owners and other stakeholders in K’gari to protect its natural integrity. Some of these programs and projects are described in MOONBI including the 7th Biennial (T,T&T) Conference and the war against Jamella that FIDO has actively supported.

Conference: The Time Tide and Tourism (T,T&T) Conference held on 16th august was a success by our standards. A summary is featured on p4.

Sustainable Transport Options: The pursuit of more sustainable transport options for K’gari continues to be one of FIDO’s highest priorities. USC PhD Candidate Ross Waldron has now begun his three-year study to reduce the environmental impacts of people movement on K’gari. A summary of his project can be found along with other Conference presentations on FIDO’s web site.

Colton Coal Mine: Because FIDO is so concerned about the natural integrity not only of Fraser Island but of the whole of the Great Sandy Region, we can’t turn a blind eye to the impacts of the Colton Coal Mine that will be releasing vast volumes of acidic water into the Mary River and ultimately into Great Sandy Strait. The Queensland Government gave the green light for three mine leases in May, 2017 despite the pleadings of the Mary Valley Catchment Coordinating Committee. MRCCC already had an application in to Josh Frydenberg to make this a controlled action under the EPBC Act. However is September The Environment Minister’s delegate declined the opportunity to reconsider.

It is for this reason that FIDO has re-entered the fray to stop a mine even though the mine isn’t on Fraser Island. As this story on the basis of FIDO’s position was being written up for MOONBI, we learnt that Canberra bureaucrats had decided not to make this a controlled Action. FIDO is collaborating with many groups to develop a strategy to see that this out of place mine never comes into being. Prepare for a potentially costly and intense campaign. See pp3-4.

One Man’s Bioblitzs: The tribute to Queensland’s most enterprising and adventurous bioblitzer is large but deserved. Although Jim Gasteen’s efforts were directed elsewhere in the state, his testimony is the greatest single contribution to enlarging the National Park estate in Queensland that has ever been made (or ever likely to be made) by a private citizen. His mammoth work shows what can be achieved through BioBlitzs. See p9

Read More: Moonbi 136 Oct 2017

A History of Fraser Island (K’gari)’s World Heritage Recognition

By John Sinclair

Like many who grew up on the doorstep of Fraser Island (K’gari) I had nothing to compare this remarkable island with. Even in 1971 when FIDO was founded I didn’t instantly recognize its uniqueness and outstanding value compared with other natural sites around the world. That realization only dawned through travel and research. Because so many locals failed to appreciate its value, they couldn’t see why mining and forest industries shouldn’t be allowed to prevail over protection. This set the scene for a protracted and sometimes bitter battle to get the island the recognition that it so justly deserves.

This FIDO Backgrounder No 82 (October 2017) celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Fraser Island’s World Heritage inscription and how it came about.

Read More: 82 World Heritage History Backgrounder

What is Wilderness?

By John Sinclair

In 1987 I was contracted by the Australian Government to produce a Wilderness Strategy. I struggled over the definition of what constituted wilderness. Setting aside that “wilderness’ may also be applied to a ‘political wilderness’ or ‘a neglected or abandoned area’ I focused only on the concept natural wilderness areas. In this FIDO Backgrounder Number 84 (October 2017) I am again wrestling with the concept of ‘wilderness’. Definitions of wilderness are widely variable and subject to individual perceptions of wilderness. However defined, wilderness plays a significant role in our lives as either a physical or vicarious challenge. For many it is essential to well-being.

Read More: 84 Wilderness Backgrounder