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Lonely Easter, but here's a reason to get back to Straddie next year

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A multimillion-dollar tourist project has been given the go-ahead for North Stradbroke Island as the local community faces a rare Easter break without an influx of visitors from the mainland.

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The Yalingbila Bibula Whale Interpretive Centre at Point Lookout presents a cultural opportunity for traditional owners the Quandamooka people and another business venture to help compensate for the end of sand-mining on the island.

Whales pass the island every year and can be seen from the headland, where the centre will now be built.

However, the chosen site had prompted protests and a petition against the project, with opponents concerned it would lead to further development unless moved back across the street.

On Friday, State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick formally declared the project should proceed. Notice was given in the Government Gazette.

In making the declaration, Dick found the site would benefit from its proximity to the Point Lookout community and the project would not have any unmitigated impacts on the area.

“As the custodians of the reserve, the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy support the proposal on reserve land,” the declaration states.

“The land will remain available for use by the public.

“The designation facilitates the development of the centre subject to compliance with the Plan of designation and requirements. Any further development would need to obtain the necessary development approvals.”

The $3.6 million centre, Yalingbila Bibula (Whale on the Hill), will house the 15-metre skeleton of a whale that washed ashore at Point Lookout in 2011. It will also have a hydrophone – an underwater microphone system – that will allow visitors to listen to the whales’ song as they pass by.

It is due to open in 2021, giving supporters something to look forward to and offer tourists when they are allowed to return.

During the pandemic, campgrounds are closed, and the Redland City Council and government have banned all non-essential and holiday travel to the island, which is also known as Minjerribah.

 

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