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Growing pains on Straddie as tourism replaces sand mining

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Some locals and MPs have criticised the latest change for Minjerribah, also known as North Stradbroke Island, which will see traditional owners given prime real estate.

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Following a Native Title ruling in 2011, the State Government has finally moved to give the island’s body corporate, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, control of bushland at Point Lookout, Dunwich and Amity Point.

The areas in question have yet to be classified under the Redland City Council planning scheme, but the corporation will have the potential to develop or sell the land. Any projects that create local jobs would also accord with the government’s plan to help Minjerribah create a sustainable local economy after sand mining ended this year.

However, the local state and federal Liberal National Party members have joined concerned locals in complaining of double standards and a lack of consultation. Tabloid newspaper The Courier-Mail warned “a mutiny is brewing”.

State Opposition leader Deb Frecklington promised a parliamentary inquiry if the LNP won the October 31 election.

“Labor’s secrecy and lack of consultation with the community is shocking,” Frecklington said.

“This secret land deal will have a major impact on the future of the island and the local residents who will be impacted most were left in the dark.

“The community has every right to be angry because the Labor Government is running roughshod over their island home.”

Deputy Premier Steven Miles, who dealt with related issues in his former role as environment minister, today said the well-developed plans for the future of the island had involved widespread consultation.

“Those plans are all about converting that beautiful place from a mine into a tourist destination,” Miles told reporters during a visit to Townsville.

It comes after the Government announced Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane would become a terminal to provide a direct link to Minjerribah, without people having to travel via Cleveland. The Government also rejected a petition seeking to scrap the corporation’s planned whale watching and interpretive centre, which has been approved for a contentious site on Point Lookout.

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