FIDO conducts several volunteer monitoring programs annually on Fraser Island.
FIDO runs a number of weeding bees to Fraser Island. These concentrate on the townships of Eurong and Happy Valley. As the older townships they have the most established weeds. Other groups are doing great work at Sandy Cape Lighthouse, the FINIA Weeds Officer and the EPA is Rangers are working on weeds too.
To prevent weeds currently confined to the small urban areas escaping into the surrounding National Park where they will be much harder to locate and control.
FIDO pioneered weeding operations on Fraser Island and has been carrying out weeding operations in Eurong for more than a decade. FIDO is carrying out this project as part of its commitment to the Fraser Island Natural Integrity Alliance (FINIA). FINIA is a collaboration of government agencies and non-government groups that share a mutual interest in protecting the natural integrity of Fraser Island. Co-operating to encourage landholders to use only plants that naturally occur on Fraser Island in their gardens instead of importing other plants that have a potential to become weeds and other pests.
FIDO receives generous support from the Kingfisher group (ferry transfers) Fraser Coast Regional Council and Fraser Island Wilderness Retreat in Happy Valley for (equipment storage) Eurong Resort, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (technical support and vehicle exemption passes) and particularly the Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG) that provides financial capacity to mount these operations. These efforts have already helped transform community attitudes to introducing exotic plants, the casual dumping of garden waste on the roadside and the need to control weeds. FIDO gratefully acknowledges this collaborative support.
Weeding bees usually run for one week starting on a weekend and continue to the next weekend.
George Haddock Track
FIDO is also pursuing another project to build the 52 kilometre George Haddock Track and in 2014 volunteers contributed four weeks of working bees 1739 voluntary actual on-‐ground hours on stage 1 of the project. The project is awaiting approval to proceed with further stages of this project. Most of this track involves handyman skills, bush navigation skills or demands heavier manual work. Priority is given to volunteers best equipped to help with the projects planned for the week
FIDO can provide transport to and from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast for five volunteers. More volunteers can participate if there is one volunteer offers to take passengers in their 4WD. Transport and accommodation usually limit groups to a maximum size of 10 people. The groups are composed of like minded, caring people with a generous disposition which is why they volunteer and they get along together very well.
FIDO likes to refer to contractual obligation. During the days in between volunteers spend up to 6 hours a day weeding. Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of 20 hours for the week working on the weeding program. This depends on trip duration, fitness, weather, type of work etc. This is usually done in the morning and or in afternoon sessions. That leaves time for half-‐day trips to places of interest.
The weeding sites are in the townships. FIDO provides accommodation usually stay in fully equipped holiday cottages. Think clean and cosy, not luxury. Think solar power and low water pressure rather than Hilton or Marriot. There is a shop, restaurant and bar in each town. The weeders will be transported, accommodated and fed. Weeders also get to assist with the cooking, cleaning, washing up and other regular household chores. BYO – Grog, medicines, specialised food.
Each day there will be a short sightseeing trip to a nearby place of interest – Lakes, creeks, wrecks, sand dunes, forests – with an expert guide with years of experience on the Island. Swimming opportunities are a priority in warmer weather. You will be given an insight into how the Island and all its fabulous features were made. Birdwatching and photography will be well catered for. All participants will receive a Fraser Island book before they go so they can read all about the wonders they will be seeing.
FIDO looks for a contribution per person to help cover tours, transport, food and accommodation costs for the week. This is voluntary and as a guideline $300 per person is suggested with $200 for concessions.
Photography and filming:
On any working bee there may be some filming of the voluntary work on Fraser Island. Photographs of the working bees are posted on the web such as at John Sinclair’s Gallery Albums on Picasa Web albums. Team leaders need to be notified if anyone has any objections to being filmed or photographed.
Becoming a FIDO Volunteer
To register for specific volunteer operations or to be notified of upcoming volunteer programs Email: firstname.lastname@example.org